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Denmark reconsiders Covid-19 vaccination recommendation for children

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected] • 2 Feb, 2022 Updated Wed 2 Feb 2022 12:52 CEST
Denmark reconsiders Covid-19 vaccination recommendation for children
Dagmar Ellebye Skonberg på 11 år modtager vaccination. Vaccination af børn imod Covid-19 på Amager vaccinationscenter​, søndag den 28. november 2021. Børn mellem 5 - 11 år kan nu vaccineres. Søndagens vaccinationer er forbeholdt de ældste børn i gruppen. Det er derfor indtil videre kun børn på 10 og 11 år, der via forældrene er blevet inviteret til en vaccine.. (Foto: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix)

The Danish Health Authority is considering whether to continue vaccinating children aged 5-11 against Covid-19, according to a report.

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The health authority’s director Søren Brostrøm told newspaper Politiken there were two reasons for reconsidering the current policy to offer vaccination to children in the age range.

“We are reconsidering the recommendation for two reasons,” Brostrøm said.

“Partly because Omicron is a different thing to Delta and gives fewer hospital admissions. Partly because a change in season is on the way and the infection curve will peak because of high immunity in the community,” he said.

The Danish Health Authority first recommended last November that parents allow children aged 5-11 to be vaccinated against Covid-19, calling for increased immunity in kids.

Brostrøm said he had “never been in doubt” that that was the correct decision at the time.

“Transmissions were occurring particularly in that age group, which was moving the virus on to parents and grandparents who could have got seriously ill from the Delta variant,” he said.

“Children have contributed with a few percentage points to immunity in the community, which is the reason that Covid-19 is no longer a critical threat to society,” he told Politiken.

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While Denmark currently recommends vaccination of 5-11 year-olds against Covid, neighbouring Sweden and Norway do not vaccinate the same age group.

Neither country has a general recommendation in place for Covid-19 vaccination in 5-11 year-olds.

In Denmark, 41.8 percent of children aged 5 to 11 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 31.9 percent are fully vaccinated.

When it introduced the recommendation in November, the Danish Health Authority hoped to vaccinate 70 percent of the age group.

Brostrøm also said in the interview with Politiken that it is “most probable” that parts or all of the Danish population will be offered a variant-focused vaccine again this autumn.

That would be to guard against future waves of the virus driven by colder weather.

“I have begun to prepare myself for a possible scenario in which Covid-19 becomes a winter sickness that, like influenza, returns year after year and where updated vaccines are developed every year,” he said.

“Because we are not going to eradicate Covid-19. It mutates and jumps between animals and humans like influenza does,” he said.

READ ALSO: Denmark returns to ‘life as we knew it’ as Covid-19 restrictions end despite Omicron

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