Denmark drops Covid-19 booster jabs for under-18s due to existing immunity

Young people aged under 18 in Denmark will not be offered a booster Covid-19 vaccination in the foreseeable future.

Outside a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Denmark
Denmark will not offer a booster Covid-19 vaccine to under 18s, citing existing high immunity in the group due to earlier vaccinations and infections. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Health Authority said in a press statement that boosters will not be offered to under-18s because of high immunity in the group resulting from previous vaccination and infection with the coronavirus.

Young people and children are meanwhile at low risk of developing serious illness from infection with the Omicron Covid-19 variant, the health authority said.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is also yet to approve the Covid-19 vaccine for a booster dose for people aged under 18.

The Danish Health Authority also confirmed it will not extend the group of people currently being offered a fourth vaccine dose – effectively a second booster.

A fourth jab has been offered to vulnerable risk groups, with care home residents and persons over 85 next in line. But the latter groups will not be offered a fourth dose, the health authority confirmed.

That is because the epidemic in Denmark is considered to be losing momentum and because the Omicron variant has resulted in a low number of serious cases for elderly patients. The health authority therefore views a further vaccine dose as unnecessary currently.

Children aged 5-11 will continue to be offered vaccination against Covid-19 with a first and second dose, continuing the Danish practice of recommending the vaccine to children first introduced in November 2021.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Danish inpatient total continues increase but ICUs stable

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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