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COVID-19 VACCINES

Has Denmark renewed its enthusiasm for Covid-19 vaccination as cases surge?

Appointments for a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine appeared to increase five-fold following the announcement Denmark would reinstate its Covid-19 health pass.

A Covid-19 vaccination centre in Denmark. The number of Covid-19 vaccination bookings spiked this week amid surging cases and the return of the country's Covid-19 health pass.
A Covid-19 vaccination centre in Denmark. The number of Covid-19 vaccination bookings spiked this week amid surging cases and the return of the country's Covid-19 health pass. Photo: Tim Kildeborg Jensen/Ritzau Scanpix

Some 9,766 appointments for the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine were made on Monday, the day Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced the government’s plan to bring back valid coronapas requirements at bars, restaurants, cafes and large events.

The number is almost five times more than Sunday’s total of 2,108 bookings, according to the health authority in North Jutland, which runs the national booking website for vaccination, vacciner.dk.

At a briefing on Monday evening, Frederiksen announced the return of the coronapas and also encouraged those still to be vaccinated to get a jab. She did so in at-times blunt terms, saying that the “government stands side by side with the just under 90 percent of people who are doing the right thing. The remaining group must not ruin things for the rest.”

“It can’t be said clearly enough. Those of you who are not yet been vaccinated: do so,” the prime minister also said.

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Several health authorities noted a marked increase in vaccination bookings following the briefing on Monday night.

The South Denmark region noted 449 bookings for a first vaccination dose on Sunday compared to 2,084 on Monday.

Total bookings – including those for second and third (booster) doses – also show a significant jump.

In a social media post, Frederiksen wrote that 35,023 people in Denmark booked a vaccination on Tuesday, a slight drop compared to the 37,015 bookings on Monday.

But the number of Monday was over three times greater than the total for the preceding day.

“Vaccines are completely crucial for us as a society to get through the cold months as well as possible. I’m pleased to see that even more people have chosen in recent days to accept the offer (of vaccination),” Frederiksen wrote.

Over 600,000 people in Denmark who have been offered a vaccination against Covid-19 are still to take up that offer, according to Danish Health Authority data.

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COVID-19 STATS

Covid-19: Danish case numbers fall by almost one fifth

Fewer new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Denmark, with last week’s total 19 percent reduced compared to the week before.

Covid-19: Danish case numbers fall by almost one fifth

The latest report from the State Serum Institute (SSI), the Danish infectious disease agency, states 10,777 new cases were detected in the week commencing July 25th, equivalent to 183 cases per 100,000 residents.

The number of PCR tests administered also decreased 15 percent compared to the preceding week, however.

Declining viral loads in the wastewater system also suggest there’s a lower burden of infection in the country, according to SSI.

In the same period, new Covid-positive hospital admissions fell nearly a quarter, with a significant decline in the elderly population. 

There was also a significantly lower prevalence of infections among care home residents and social care sector staff, SSI states.

Last month, age concern charity Ældre Sagen called for the Danish Health Authority to bring forward planned booster vaccinations to care home residents after a 29 percent increase in new hospital admissions with the virus, with 60-89 year-olds particularly affected.

Booster vaccinations will be offered to everyone aged 50 and over this autumn.

READ ALSO: Who is eligible for a fourth Covid vaccine dose in Denmark and when?

60 deaths among people who were infected with Covid-19 occurred last week, 10 more than the preceding week.

“But this is not a sign of excess deaths in the population in general,” SSI says in the report.

Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is still responsible for the lion’s share of Covid cases in Denmark, accounting for 92 percent of positive results in the week of July 18th. 

“There is no sign of concerning spread of other subvariants,” SSI writes.

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