Denmark purchases more monkeypox vaccines, though risk remains low 

The Danish Ministry of Health has confirmed that 200 vaccinations against monkey pox will arrive in Denmark on Friday from the Netherlands, with thousands more to be ordered.

Mock-up vials labelled
Mock-up vials labelled "Monkeypox vaccine" are seen in this illustration photo taken, May 25th, 2022. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Magnus Heunicke, Danish minister of health, said that the government plans to purchase an additional 2,000-3,000 vaccines and they will be given to people who have been in close contact with those infected with the virus.

“It is not about a community vaccine, but targeted at close contacts,” Heunicke said. 

The move comes following the first case of the virus in Denmark was reported on Monday and a second case early on Tuesday.

A new risk assessment from the Statens Serum Institut shows that there is a low or very low risk of societal infection with monkey pox in Denmark but it is estimated that there will be further infection.

READ ALSO: Monkeypox in Denmark: what causes it, and is it serious?

Following a briefing at the Ministry of Health, health spokesman Martin Geertsen told TV2 News, “most of all, there is a need for some calm. The health authorities are completely calm.”

The vaccine that will be offered is produced by Danish company Bavarian Nordic, the health authority said. It is used against chickenpox but is also suitable for vaccinating against monkeypox, according to the health authority, which also noted that it will only be administered by senior doctors specialised in infectious diseases.

“The vaccine must be given after you have been exposed to the infection and will reduce the risk of a serious course of the virus”, said chief physician Bolette Søborg.

The Danish health ministry describes the symptoms of monkeypox as including fever, shivering and a rash with blisters that can leave wounds when they heal.

Monkeypox typically has an incubation period of six to 16 days, but it can be as long as 21 days. Once lesions have scabbed over and fallen off, the person with the virus is no longer infectious.

Unlike Covid-19, you can only infect others when you yourself have symptoms. Infection can occur via the respiratory tract or close contact with body fluids.

READ ALSO: Denmark to offer vaccination to close contacts of monkeypox cases

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Danish public sector workers offered full time contracts

People who work in the public sector for Danske Regioner, the regional authorities which are responsible for health services, will be given the automatic right to become contracted as full time employees.

Danish public sector workers offered full time contracts

The objective of the decision is to secure staff at hospitals and social services which are operated by regional authorities, Danske Regioner said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Regions’ elected official in charge of the salary and practice committee, Region Zealand council chairperson Heino Knudsen, said it was “crucial” for regional authorities to increase the working hours of staff by moving more people from part-time to full-time terms.

“We need staff in the health services and we need all the staff we can get. Preferably a lot more who are working full time,” Knudsen said.

“Currently, we can see that an overall 32 percent of people employed by Regions are part-time. We very much want to reduce that percentage so that more people want to work full time and have the option of doing so,” he said.

Social care sector staff have had the right to automatically become full-time since 2020, but the option was not previously extended to all employees.

READ ALSO: What’s the difference between a municipality and a region in Denmark?