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HEALTH

Danish LGBT+ group welcomes monkeypox vaccination decision

A Danish LGBT+ rights group says that a decision by the country’s health authority to offer monkeypox vaccinations to all men who have sex with men, and have multiple sexual partners, is ‘what we have asked for’.

Danish LGBT+ group welcomes monkeypox vaccination decision
Pride celebrations in Copenhagen in 2021. Advocacy group LGBT+ has welcomed health authorities’ decision to extend an offer of vaccination against monkeypox. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark will now offer monkeypox vaccinations to all men who have sex with men and have multiple sexual partners, the Danish Health Authority said on Tuesday.

Previously, the shots were only given to people who had been in close contact with a confirmed case.

Anyone can get monkeypox from close contact, not just men who have sex with men. However, high numbers of cases have been recorded in that group, in Denmark as well as internationally.

READ ALSO: Monkeypox: Denmark to offer vaccination to at-risk group

The head of secretariat with association LGBT+ Denmark, Susanne Branner Jespersen, told broadcaster DR the organisation was “pleased” that health authorities have broadened the segment to which vaccinations are offered.

“This is what we have asked for, so we can only be satisfied that they are now coming out with a vaccination strategy which fits with the needs we are seeing,” Jespersen said.

“Being vaccinated does not set aside the general guidelines which have come out, but it will give a higher degree of security,” she said.

The organisation last week called for the Danish Health Authority to offer the monkeypox vaccine to men who have sex with men.

That request has now been met. The vaccine is given as two injections at a 28-day interval.

The health authority is in dialogue with regional health providers and hospitals regarding how the vaccination effort will be coordinated and expects to begin vaccinations by the end of this week, new wire Ritzau reported.

The vice director of the Danish Health Authority, Helene Probst, DR on Tuesday that people in risk groups show be “extra aware” of symptoms, with case numbers currently increasing.

“Vaccination is one part of a strategy with several elements, but it is also important to be aware of symptoms,” Probst told DR.

Typical symptoms of Monkeypox are similar to those most experience with influenza.

Additional symptoms can include a rash in the groin area, itching and discomfort, and blisters in the mouth or on hands. Should these symptoms present, the sufferer should contact their doctor, be tested for monkeypox and avoid close contact with others.

The disease can be passed on to others once symptoms are present.

Latest data from the State Serum Institute (SSI), the national infectious disease agency, show that 126 people in Denmark have contracted monkeypox since the first case was detected in the country in late May.

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HEALTH

Danish health authorities to spend on recruitment and postpone construction in 2023

Denmark’s five regional health boards have finalised budgets for 2023, with recruitment and improvement of working environments largely prioritised over expansion and construction projects.

Danish health authorities to spend on recruitment and postpone construction in 2023

The budgets will provide more money for recruiting and retaining staff, improving work environments at hospitals and on local services.

Spending on facilities has been given lower priority, meaning several construction projects are to be postponed, the collective organisation for the regional health authorities, Danske Regioner, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Regions are attempting to address a labour shortage in the health service and the new budgets reflect this, national chairperson Anders Kühnau said.

“In the regions we have great focus on patients that are waiting for treatment here and now. It is therefore our top priority to acquire relevant personnel so we can reduce waiting times for patients,” Kühnau said in the statement.

“That applies to strain at emergency departments, psychiatric departments and operatin theatres right now – but also to longer-term challenges,” he said.

Spending on local services includes boosted budgets for GP services.

Reduced spending on physical facilities is linked in part to the current climate of high energy costs and inflation.

“Prices are increasing and we must be responsible in the Regions. Specifically, that will mean that some construction projects must unfortunately be postponed. Only the most essential will be prioritised,” Kühnau said.

The suspended constructions and those that will still go ahead were not specified.

Regional budget agreements for 2023 also include funding for cyber security. Extra spending will also go on drinking water and decontamination of ground pollution.

Regions – and their elected boards – administrate public hospitals and the GP system. They also orchestrate regional mass transit and are involved in welfare and social development.

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

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