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Denmark urges public to get booster jabs after Covid-19 infections break record

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark urges public to get booster jabs after Covid-19 infections break record
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S), when she, the Minister of Health and the Elderly and government representatives hold a press conference on the status of the corona situation, in the Mirror Hall in the Prime Minister's Office in Copenhagen, Wednesday 1 December 2021. The authorities informed about the new covid-19 variant Omikron .. (Photo: Philip Davali / Ritzau Scanpix)

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and senior health officials said the country would ramp up its drive to provide booster vaccinations as the country, already with record Covid-19 infection levels, braces for the impact of the Omicron variant.

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Boosters were the key theme of a briefing given on Wednesday evening by Frederiksen and the heads of health authorities.

Earlier in the day, an additional 5,120 positive Covid-19 tests were registered in Denmark in the latest daily total, a record for the country's coronavirus epidemic.

Frederiksen urged the country’s senior age groups to accept invitations to get boosters and asked for family members to assists elderly relatives with the digital element of the vaccine booking system.

“It’s completely crucial that authorities and regions now increase their tempo and capacity so there’s no need to wait and no one wastes valuable time,” she said.

The government reiterated at the meeting that it plans to avoid the type of lockdown seen in earlier waves of the virus, which saw schools and businesses close and large events cancelled.

“It’s our clear ambition that Denmark will remain open,” Frederiksen said, adding that vaccines were vital in ensuring this.

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While Frederiksen has previously focused on unvaccinated people, this time she asked the public to accept the offer of a booster jab as soon as possible. Boosters will be offered to all over-18s six months after the original vaccination course was completed.

Vaccination capacity is to be ramped up to enable 500,000 jabs per week, the government said at the briefing.

Danish Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm admitted that there were currently delays accessing vaccinations or boosters in some areas.

“We would like to see vaccination be available within a week of receiving the invitation,” Brostrøm said.

READ ALSO: How foreign citizens can get a booster Covid-19 jab in Denmark

All people offered a booster dose should be able to get one within a week in their own health authority region, according to a goal stated by the government.

“Everyone should be able to have a third (booster) jab within the six months [after vaccination, ed.]. That’s the clear goal of authorities,” Frederiksen said.

“You can say that every jab counts right now,” she added.

Health Minister Magnus Heunick said at the briefing that seven cases of the Omicron variant have now been identified in Denmark and that tests were ongoing in several more suspected cases.

“It’s important that we put all hands to the wheel. That is also because of the new variant Omicron. We know from earlier waves that time is a decisive factor,” Heunicke said.

READ ALSO: Denmark requires travellers from Middle East hubs to take Covid-19 test

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