Danish research suggests repeated Covid-19 boosters for over-50s

People over the age of 50 could need repeated booster vaccines against Covid-19, Danish research has found.

Danish research suggests repeated Covid-19 boosters for over-50s
Danish research suggests that people over the age of 50 would need repeated revaccinations to maintain resistance to Covid-19. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Research at Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet, Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University indicates that several more rounds of vaccination against Covid will be necessary to protect people over 50, broadcaster DR writes.

The joint research project, Enforce, found that people over the age of 50 are likely to benefit from a fifth, sixth and seventh Covid-19 vaccine dose.

People over the age of 50 will be offered a fourth dose (a second booster after the original two-dose vaccine) from October 1st.

Care home residents and particularly vulnerable elderly people will be invited for a booster from September 15th. People with suppressed immune systems are already eligible.

“Coronavirus is a disease we will live with and we need to be continuously vaccinated against it,” Nina Breinholt Stærke, doctor and coordinator of the Enforce research project in the Central Jutland region, told DR.

“Especially those who are at risk of becoming seriously ill from the disease,” she added. 

Enforce examined blood samples from nearly 7,000 Danes before and after their vaccinations to reach the conclusion over the need for boosters.

The research is scheduled to be presented in full at a symposium in Copenhagen on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Who is eligible for a fourth Covid vaccine dose in Denmark and when? 

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Covid-19: Denmark expects to bring updated jab into vaccination programme

An updated version of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, tabled by the European Medical Agency (EMA) for EU approval, is likely to be used in Denmark.

Covid-19: Denmark expects to bring updated jab into vaccination programme

The Danish Health Authority said that it expects the vaccine, which has been updated to protect against the currently dominant variant of the coronavirus, will be used in the autumn vaccination programme.

“We now have several variant-updated vaccines which we expect to give both better and broader protection against serious illness and death,” the deputy director of the Danish Health Auhtority, Helene Bilsted Probst, said in a press statement.

“We expect that the updated vaccine will give at least as good protection as the already-approved BA1-updated vaccine, and it could possibly be a little better,” she said.

The Health Authority is expected to make a decision in the near future on how doses of the latest update will be integrated into the existing vaccine programme.

Denmark’s autumn Covid-19 vaccination programme is scheduled to begin on September 15th, when care home residents and people aged 85 and over will be invited for a booster vaccine.

From October 1st, everyone aged 50 and over will be offered vaccination.

“Everyone who will be vaccinated in the autumn vaccination programme will be vaccinated with the variant-updated vaccine, and we will continuously assess how best to use it,” Probst said in the statement.

Other groups for which vaccination is recommended include those who are pregnant, work in the health and elderly care sectors, or are at heightened risk of serious illness.

Denmark took delivery of 720,000 Pfizer vaccines late last week and has secured a total of 4.5 million doses that will be delivered this month.

Probst stated that timely vaccination was important in reducing the likelihood of serious illness.

“So we need to get started so we can keep ahead of the virus,” she said.