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COVID-19 VACCINES

Can you get a Covid-19 booster in Denmark if you are not in a risk group?

People not eligible for Denmark’s national Covid-19 booster vaccine this autumn can still get revaccinated, but will have to cover costs themselves.

Can you get a Covid-19 booster in Denmark if you are not in a risk group?
North Jutland Regional director Mads Duedahl visits a vaccination centre in Aalborg during the winter 2021 vaccination programme. Boosters this winter will be made available at a cost for non-risk groups. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

A new Covid-19 booster jab will be available across Denmark from November 15th, but people outside eligible groups who want to be revaccinated will have to pay for it, the Danish Health Ministry said in a statement.

Denmark will offer bivalent Moderna and Pfizer vaccines (that is, the newer vaccines targeting omicron variants) for sale to vendors including general practitioners and pharmacies.

“Vaccination will [after November 15th] be available for purchase to members of the public from GPs, pharmacies and others who choose to take part in the arrangement,” the ministry said.

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

While the State Serum Institute will sell the doses to vendors at cost price, it’s up to vendors how much they’ll charge patients for the jab. This also applies with other types of vaccination, specifically vaccination for travel purposes.

“The purchase price for the consumer is set by individual vaccinators, as is the practice with, for example, travel vaccines. The overall price of vaccination may therefore vary,” the ministry said.

The first doses of the Covid-19 booster will be received by vendors on November 14th ahead of a November 15th start date. 

A limit has been placed on the number of vaccines to be released for private sale in order to ensure sufficient supply for at-risk persons.

Denmark’s autumn 2022 Covid-19 vaccination programme began on September 15th, when care home residents and people aged 85 and over were invited for a booster jab.

All people aged 50 and over were offered free vaccination from October 1st.

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.

These groups are not automatically offered a free booster: they receive information from their workplaces or must contact health services independently to check eligibility and arrange a vaccination. This can be done via the vacciner.dk and Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) websites.

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HEALTH

Denmark considers moving outpatient nurses to night shifts to ease shortage

Danish hospitals could ask nurses that usually work in outpatient services to cover night and weekend shifts in an effort to ease a lack of staff cover.

Denmark considers moving outpatient nurses to night shifts to ease shortage

The Danish Regions, the elected bodies which operate hospitals in Denmark’s five regions, are considering a plan to require nurses who work at outpatient clinics to fill night and weekend shifts in hospitals, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports.

The policy would aim to prevent hospital nurses — particularly those working in intensive care, surgery, and emergency departments — from leaving the public system for more favourable working conditions at private clinics. 

Nurses in departments with shift rotas bear the brunt of a nurse labour shortage, meaning many must take on an untenable number of night and weekend shifts as many of their colleagues leave, according to the report.

“The lack of staff is currently the biggest challenge for the health service and a more transparent and fair rota, in which staff have an input on their schedules, is one of the most important keys to becoming a more attractive place of work and retaining personnel,” Stephanie Lose, chair of the Southern Denmark regional council and vice-president of the Danish Regions, told Jyllands-Posten.

“We have to share the heavy on-call load on to more shoulders, and our clear message is that all hospitals must work with this systematically in all areas, otherwise we will not achieve our goal,” she said.

The Danish Regions want to base the plan on a model already used in the South Denmark region, according to Jyllands-Posten.

This would mean staff having rotas with at least eight weeks’ notice, and weekend shifts no more often than every third week.

The Regions also propose that nurses employed in outpatient clinics spend a third of their working time on the schedule in an inpatient ward.

The leader of Danish trade union for nurses DSR, Grete Christensen, did not dismiss the prospect in comments to Jyllands-Posten.

Christensen warned against forcing all hospitals and departments to comply with a defined model, however.

She said that the essence of the problem is a lack of nurses in the public health system.

READ ALSO: Denmark takes ‘far too long’ to approve qualifications of foreign medics, nurses 

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