Denmark offers earlier Covid-19 booster jab to over 40s

Booster vaccinations against Covid-19 are to be moved forward in Denmark, with everyone over the age of 40 to be offered a “third” or booster jab four and a half months after completing their original vaccination course.

Denmark will offer Covid-19 booster jabs to all people over the age of 40 from 20 weeks after their original second dose.
Denmark will offer Covid-19 booster jabs to all people over the age of 40 from 20 weeks after their original second dose. File photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Health Authority announced the decision on Sunday and provided further detail at a briefing on Monday morning.

Previously, the booster Covid-19 vaccine was offered five and a half months after the original course of vaccination. This remains the case for 18-39 year-olds.

The change means fully vaccinated people will be offered a booster after 140 days or 20 weeks.

The expedition of boosters comes in response to the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Danish Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm said he expected the variant to replace Delta within weeks as the dominant form of the virus in Denmark.

“We don’t yet know enough about the new Omicron variant, including in regard to how ill it can make you, but what we can see is that it spreads quickly,” Brostrøm said.

But “experimental data” suggest that immunity after two vaccine doses is “not quite sufficient” to protect against the variant, according to the director.

However, there are signs that three doses do give protection against serious illness, including with the Omicron variant.

“We are moving forward (boosters) now because we simply need more immunity in large parts of the population in this winter season,” he added.

1.2 million people, primarily in the very oldest age groups, have already received a booster jab while 300,000 people have appointments booked and another 500,000 have already received invitations.

“In round numbers, we are putting an extra 1.5 million vaccines in before New Year, Brostrøm said on Sunday.

In a briefing on Monday, health authorities appealed for the public to remain patient amid strain on booking systems as a result of the new booster rules.

“It’s a huge task for regions [health authorities, ed.] to upscale the vaccine programme,” said Erik Jylling, national medical director for the regional authorities.

“Our IT and booking systems will be pushed to the extreme,” he added.

As such, people trying to book booster vaccines on the platform are likely to experience waiting times, he said.

READ ALSO: Denmark ‘to reduce’ Covid-19 vaccine pass validity period

Member comments

  1. ”However, there are signs that three doses do give protection against serious illness, including with the Omicron variant.”

    How about solid research and science ? Are we going on signs now ? Talking about signs there were signs that Omicron is way less deadly than any other variant. There were also signs that most of the people that got it were vaccinated.

    Or are we just going off signs that makes big pharma the most money ?

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Denmark suspends national Covid-19 vaccination programme

Denmark, which in February lifted all curbs related to the coronavirus pandemic, said on Tuesday it was suspending its general Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Denmark suspends national Covid-19 vaccination programme

Noting that the epidemic was under control and that vaccination levels were high, the Danish Health Authority said the country was in a “good position.”

“Therefore we are winding down the mass vaccination program against Covid-19,” said Bolette Søborg, director of the authority’s department of infectious diseases.

Around 81 percent of Denmark’s 5.8 million inhabitants have received two doses of the vaccine and 61.6 percent have also received a booster.

Denmark noted a drop in the number of new infections and stable hospitalisation rates.

While invitations for vaccinations would no longer be issued after May 15th, health officials anticipate that vaccinations would resume after the summer.

“We plan to reopen the vaccination programme in the autumn. This will be preceded by a thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate and with which vaccines,” Søborg said.

As a wave of the Omicron variant hit the country last November, Denmark intensified its immunisation campaign, accelerating access to booster shots and offering a fourth dose from mid-January to the most vulnerable.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Denmark registers under 1,000 cases in a day for first time in 2022