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COVID-19 VACCINES

Denmark to offer booster jab for mixed Covid-19 vaccination

Residents of Denmark who are vaccinated against Covid-19 with a mixture of vaccinations from two different companies are to be offered a booster jab against the virus.

A pop-up vaccination centre in a Danish supermarket in September 2021. Denmark is to offer a third vaccine dose for people with mixed vaccine doses in an effort to meet all international travel rules.
A pop-up vaccination centre in a Danish supermarket in September 2021. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

The decision was announced by the Danish Health Authority in a statement on Tuesday and follows the decision last week to also offer a booster to people fully vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s single dose vaccine. 

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A significant number of people who work in the healthcare sector were during the spring given a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine followed by a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, following Denmark’s decision to remove the AstraZeneca jab from its mainstream vaccination programme.

The booster jab will enable people with mixed vaccinations to travel to countries which do not recognised a mixed course of vaccines as a completed vaccination course, according to the Danish Health Authority.

However, the country’s foreign ministry last week cast doubt as to whether all countries would recognise the fully vaccinated status of people who receive a booster jab of Pfizer or Moderna following Johnson & Johnson vaccination.

People who are cross vaccinated including a first dose from AstraZeneca do not require a booster from a medical perspective, according to the Danish Health Authority. That is because this form of vaccination is considered to still give strong protection against the coronavirus.

“Mixed-vaccinated people are particularly well protected with the two different vaccines they have received. We actually view mixed vaccination as being just as effective as vaccination with two mRNA [Pfizer or Moderna, ed.] vaccines,” the health authority’s head of department Bolette Søborg said in the statement.

“At the same time, we also have great understanding for them not being able to travel where they want to. Therefore, those who need it and wish to will be given the option,” Søborg added.

Mixed-vaccinated people with no plans to travel currently need not receive a booster jab at the current time, she also said.

The authority does not consider there to be “risk of serious side effects with a third jab when you have previously received one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and one dose of an mRNA vaccine,” Søborg said in the statement.

The UK government changed its much-criticised Covid border rules on Monday October 4th.

With that change, the UK government now accepts that people with mixed doses of two Covid-19 vaccines – such as Astra-Zeneca and Pfizer – will now be considered fully vaccinated.

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Recent Covid-19 booster jab offers good protection: Danish agency

The number of new registered cases of Covid-19 in Denmark is currently declining despite the cold weather providing more favourable conditions for the virus.

Recent Covid-19 booster jab offers good protection: Danish agency

A weekly trend report from the national infectious disease control agency, State Serum Institute (SSI) shows that 3,781 people returned positive PCR tests for the coronavirus last week, compared to 4,247 the preceding week.

It should be noted that Denmark does not generally advise Covid-19 tests for those not at risk of severe illness from the virus.

READ ALSO: What is Denmark’s Covid-19 testing strategy for the winter?

Going further back, the number has almost halved, with 9,015 positive PCR tests registered during the week beginning October 10th.

The number of people with Covid-19 newly admitted to hospitals has also fallen, from 275 two weeks ago to 245 last week.

SSI has begun to include vaccine effectiveness as a new parameter in its weekly trend report.

According to the agency, people who have recently received a booster against Covid-19 are better protected against the virus than those who have not received a booster.

“Our analyses of the effect of the booster show that persons who received the fourth dose [second booster, ed.] prior to September 15th are well protected against hospital admission as a result of Covid-19,” SSI senior medical consultant Bolette Søborg said in a statement on the agency’s website.

The latest booster provides “around 75 percent better” protection against hospital admission compared to people who have received three doses,” she said.

READ ALSO: Can you get a Covid-19 booster in Denmark if you are not in a risk group?

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