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COVID-19

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

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.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and senior health officials on Wednesday said the country would ramp up its Covid-19 booster vaccination drive.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and senior health officials on Wednesday said the country would ramp up its Covid-19 booster vaccination drive. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

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.

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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COVID-19 VACCINES

Covid-19: Denmark decides against additional booster this winter

No additional booster vaccination against Covid-19 will be offered this winter, the Danish Health Authority confirmed on Wednesday.

Covid-19: Denmark decides against additional booster this winter

Together with an expert advisory group, the Health Authority has considered whether to offer vulnerable groups an extra booster vaccination against Covid-19 this winter.

People at higher risk of serious illness with the virus including those over the age of 85 will not be offered a further booster this winter, the authority has decided.

Denmark offered a booster in autumn 2022 to all people over the age of 50 and younger people considered vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The booster was backed up by data suggesting it improves protection against hospitalisation with Covid-19 by 74 percent, according to the Danish Health Authority.

READ ALSO: Danish research finds improved protection from updated Covid-19 vaccine

Infection numbers in Denmark are currently low.

“We have the highest vaccine uptake in Europe and the vaccines have proved to be effective, including for the elderly and most vulnerable. We are in a good place in the Covid-19 epidemic. We can only be pleased about this,” head of section and consultant physician Kirstine Moll Harboe said in the statement.

The health authority nevertheless expects immunity and effectiveness of vaccines to fall over time and will therefore develop a plan for a new booster vaccination campaign to take place in the autumn.

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