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HEALTH

How to get an influenza vaccine in Denmark

Target groups for an influenza vaccine for the 2022 season, including children, can obtain free vaccination across Denmark.

How to get an influenza vaccine in Denmark
Children aged 2-6 can be vaccinated (using a spray) at vaccination centres in Denmark from October 14th. photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Starting next week, vaccination centres will be available to give influenza vaccines to children between the ages of two and six.

The offer is expected to make vaccinations easier on parents, since ‘flu shots were previously only available through a limited number of general practitioners — meaning parents often had to call several doctors before making an appointment. 

To date, less than ten percent of eligible kids have been vaccinated for the flu since it became available October 1st, far below the Danish Health Authority target of 75 percent, according to broadcaster DR

Children between the ages of two and six years have been eligible for a vaccination against influenza since October 1st.

The Danish Health Authority says it is offering the vaccination to children because they can easily pass the infection on when they have influenza. As such, vaccinating them can prevent spread to vulnerable people including the elderly.

Because 2020 and 2021 saw low influenza spread due to Covid-19 restrictions, lower natural immunity has built up in the community. The Danish Health Authority is therefore “concerned we will experience a tough influenza season in which we will see many people infected with influenza,” it said in a letter sent to parents of children eligible for vaccination.

“That’s why it is important that we prevent as much illness as we can,” it said.

How are children vaccinated?

The influenza vaccine given to children aged 2-6 is in the form of a nasal spray (not an injection).

It is given in two separate doses four weeks apart, unless the child was vaccinated last year, in which case only one dose is needed.

Children can access the vaccination at their GP’s clinic (they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). Some clinics offer walk-in vaccination, while appointments must be made at others. Contact your GP for more information.

From October 14th, children can also get the ‘flu vaccine at vaccination centres (the centres where adults are also vaccinated against influenza and Covid-19). An appointment should not be necessary, but check the information provided by the individual centre.

You can find the vaccination centre closest to you via this map on the Danish Health Authority website (click the green “Vaccinationscentre” filter and the light blue “Influenzavaccination af børn (2-6 år)” filters). 

You can also call a dedicated helpline in your local health authority Region to receive information about options near you. The relevant phone numbers are listed here.

The Health Authority has also issued a letter in English on influenza vaccination for children. The letter is a replication of the circular sent to parents. It can be found here.

How do adults get the influenza vaccine?

The free influenza vaccine is offered to adults in a number of specified groups. These are, broadly, people over 65 years old, pregnant women in their second or third trimester, and people with certain chronic illnesses and other health indications.

Health sector staff and household close contacts to children in high-risk groups can also be given the free vaccine.

An exhaustive list of the chronic illnesses and general health conditions for which the influenza vaccine is recommended can be found on the Danish Health Authority website.

Vaccination can be given at GP clinics, vaccination centres (where Covid-19 vaccines are also given) and some pharmacies. The options available vary locally.

You can use this map (the same map mentioned in the section for children above) to search locally for vaccination options close to you. The map can be filtered to show only vaccination centre, GP clinics, pharmacies or private clinics, and you should click the “Influenzavaccine” button to specify for the ‘flu jab.

If you have been offered an influenza vaccine based on your age, you can book an appointment at a vaccination centre via the vacciner.dk website. You’ll need your MitID or NemID digital ID. If you need help with this, you can call a Regional helpline. The relevant phone numbers are listed here.

If you have been offered the vaccine due to health or work reasons, you can follow a similar procedure. You will be asked to sign a declaration before booking an appointment.

If you are unsure about being vaccinated or whether you fall into the target group, the Health Authority recommends discussing the options with your doctor.

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HEALTH

The number of adults on ADHD medication in Denmark has almost doubled in six years

The number of people over the age of 18 in Denmark receiving medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has almost doubled from 2015 to 2021.

The number of adults on ADHD medication in Denmark has almost doubled in six years

In 2015, 26,000 people over the age of 18 received medication for ADHD, while in 2021, the figure increased to 51,000, the newspaper Politiken reports, based on figures it obtained from the Danish Health Data Authority.

Per Hove Thomsen, a professor of psychiatry at Aarhus University, says that all the adults who get diagnosed are born with ADHD and have thus lived with ADHD their whole lives without knowing it.

“But today, there is an increased focus on the fact that ADHD is not something you grow out of, and therefore more adults are becoming aware that it (note: ADHD) may be what makes it difficult for them to cope with everyday life,” he says.

Symptoms

ADHD symptoms for adults are, among others, difficulties in planning and completing tasks and large emotional fluctuations.

Especially in the past two years, the number of adults under medication has increased, and the increase is particularly large among 25 to 64-year-olds.

Two years ago, 19,000 people aged 25-44 were on ADHD medicine. The figure has now increased to over 26,000 people, which is an increase of approximately 40 percent. The increase is found among both men and women.

Despite the large increase in registered cases, there is still a notable number of unregistered cases. It is estimated that approximately 2.8 percent of the world’s adult population meets the requirements for a diagnosis of ADHD.

If that is the case, around 135,000 adults in Denmark meet the criteria for the diagnosis. Attention deficit disorders put you at great risk of developing other mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

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