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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Three million Danes 'underdosed' with original Covid vaccine, the energy company shutting down its phone lines, and a Dane at the US January 6th hearings are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday
An investigation by broadcaster DR suggests 3 million Danes received insufficient doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Three million Danes ‘underdosed’ with Covid vaccine 

An investigation by broadcaster DR has revealed that three million people vaccinated for Covid-19 in Denmark between May 2021 and May 2022 didn’t receive a full dose. 

Despite repeated warnings by the State Serum Institute, Denmark’s infectious disease agency, the Danish Health Authority instructed vaccination sites to draw an extra dose from vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. That means people received ten percent less than the dose approved by the European Medicines Agency, according to an experiment by the Danish Technological Institute. 

Studies as to whether people who received an underdose were more likely to catch Covid-19 or suffer serious outcomes are ongoing. 

READ MORE: Covid-19: Danish authorities ‘not concerned’ after new subvariant detected

Danish energy provider, overwhelmed by calls, closes phone lines 

If you’ve been struggling to get through to Andel Energi with a question about your bill, you’re in good company — under a deluge of calls, the company has taken to closing its phone lines when the queue becomes too long. 

“We’re geared up to answer 4,500 customers a day, but at the moment we’re getting over 2,000 calls an hour,” Rasmus Avnskjold, Andel Energi’s press officer, tells newswire Ritzau. 

The phone lines open as normal every morning, Avnskjold explains. Most callers are given the opportunity to request a ‘callback’ when a representative is available so they don’t spend hours on hold, and when that queue stretches past what Andel Energi figures they can handle in a day the line is closed. Customers are asked to call back the following day. 

The deluge of calls is due in no small part to the winter aid package passed by Parliament — it’s up to companies to administer the ‘price freeze’ scheme mandated by the government, which will allow customers to pay excess bills back over the next several years. 

READ MORE: How much will electricity tax cut save bill payers in Denmark? 

Danish documentarian will be questioned by US January 6th Committee

Denmark will have a brief cameo in the United States’ investigation of the storming of Congress on January 6th, 2021. 

Christoffer Guldbrandsen, a Danish journalist and documentarian, will share video and testify as to what happened at the Willard Hotel in D.C., where top Trump advisors gathered in the days before the attack. Guldbrandsen has followed Roger Stone, the longtime conservative political consultant and Trump advisor who was convicted of obstruction of justice in the Mueller probe, for two years. 

Guldbrandsen is set to appear before the Committee on Wednesday. 

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For members

TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Danish teens cycling drunk and losing control, the party hoping to decriminalise drugs, and teen cannabis dealers in Christiania are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

One in three Danish teens bike so drunk they lose control 

Nearly thirty percent of Danish teens age 16-19 admit to riding their bike “even if they were so drunk that they had difficulty steering,”  according to research by the Danish Road Safety Council (Rådet for Sikker Trafik) and reported by newswire Ritzau. 

“We are well aware that we cannot get all young people to stop cycling after drinking alcohol. But we want to stop those who are most drunk,” Morten Wehner of the Danish Road Safety Council wrote in a press release. 

Doctors at Rigshospitalet, Denmark’s largest hospital, say they’re woefully familiar with the dangers cycling drunk poses to young people. 

“They risk serious injuries, such as skull fractures or bleeding in the brain, which can cost them their health or, in the worst case, their lives,” Emily Øberg, a trauma manager at Rigshospitalet, wrote. “They can have internal bleeding, which can also be life-threatening and require emergency surgery.” 

READ MORE: ‘The Vikings also wore helmets’: Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad

Young cannabis dealers in Christiania worry residents 

Residents of Christiania, the autonomous commune in downtown Copenhagen, say they’re as alarmed as police are to see teenage drug dealers on their streets — but insist it can’t fall to members of the public in Christiania to police their neighbours. 

Between September 1st to November 21st alone, 17 minors were charged with selling euphoric drugs in Christiania, newspaper Berlingske reports. 

“Previously, Christianites would have intervened and shouted at them, but now we can see that 15-16-year-olds are behind the stalls, without anything happening,” Copenhagen police inspector Tommy Laursen told Berlingske. 

Hulda Mader, a Christiania spokesperson, says responsibility falls squarely on Copenhagen police — “the intensive efforts made by the police last year [to increase criminalisation of cannabis, ed.]  have meant that the cannabis market has gone from bad to worse,” she said to Berlingske. 

As Mader describes it, “more humane and decent pushers” have been supplanted by gangs. “It is a societal problem and not a Christiania problem.” 

“I don’t know what other neighbourhoods in the country ask people to go out and try to make sure that crime doesn’t happen. You don’t do that,” Mader added. 

Moderates push to decriminalise drugs for personal use

Centrist party the Moderates (Moderaterne) have announced a desire to decriminalise drugs for personal use and refocus police efforts on dealers, Berlingske reports.

 “Criminalisation is stigmatisation, which means that the stigmatised go under society’s radar and do not seek help,” Moderate member of parliament Nanna Gotfredsen told Berlingske. “This entails the risk of all kinds of diseases, amputations of arms and legs, overdoses and so on.” 

Under Danish law, drug use is not directly criminal, but it is a crime to possess drugs, regardless of whether it is for personal use or because you intend to sell them to others, Ritzau writes.

READ MORE: Five laws foreigners in Denmark are bound to break 

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