Danish health authorities say no need for new Covid-19 vaccination programme

The Danish public is sufficiently protected against Covid-19 through vaccination at the current time, meaning there is no need for a renewed vaccine programme at the current time, the Danish Health Authority said on Friday.

Danish health authorities say no need for new Covid-19 vaccination programme
Danish health authorities see no need for a new Covid-19 vaccination programme at the current time. File photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The Health Authority said in a statement on Friday that it did not consider additional vaccinations to be necessary at the current time.

“Uptake for vaccinations for both influenza and Covid-19 during the autumn vaccination campaign was very high – especially for the most vulnerable groups – and the protection against illness and death provided by the Covid-19 vaccines is still very good,” the authority said.

“At the current time, there is therefore no sign of falling immunity and need for more vaccinations,” it stated.

READ ALSO: Over 1.5 million Danes vaccinated against influenza and Covid-19 during late 2022

The announcement from the Health Authority comes at a time when Covid-19 infections in Denmark are reported to be increasing.

Older age groups in particular have seen rising infection numbers in recent weeks. A weekly trend report published national infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) on Thursday said that the overall death rate in Denmark in recent weeks had been higher than expected.

SSI said this winter’s “triple epidemic” — widespread infections with Covid-19, influenza, and RSV — are likely to blame, having hit elderly populations particularly hard. 

Despite this, no additional booster vaccinations are needed beyond those already available, the Danish Health Authority said.

More vaccination may, however, become relevant later in the winter. The Health Authority said in the statement that it was following data related to vaccine effectiveness closely, especially in relation to older and vulnerable groups.

Health authorities continue to emphasise the importance of staying home if you feel sick. 

Elderly persons and those at risk of serious illness with Covid-19 are advised to keep a lateral flow (rapid) test at home so that they can access treatment quickly if they are infected, the Health Authority said in the statement.

READ ALSO: Denmark considers Covid-19 test requirement for travellers from China

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Covid-19: Denmark decides against additional booster this winter

No additional booster vaccination against Covid-19 will be offered this winter, the Danish Health Authority confirmed on Wednesday.

Covid-19: Denmark decides against additional booster this winter

Together with an expert advisory group, the Health Authority has considered whether to offer vulnerable groups an extra booster vaccination against Covid-19 this winter.

People at higher risk of serious illness with the virus including those over the age of 85 will not be offered a further booster this winter, the authority has decided.

Denmark offered a booster in autumn 2022 to all people over the age of 50 and younger people considered vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The booster was backed up by data suggesting it improves protection against hospitalisation with Covid-19 by 74 percent, according to the Danish Health Authority.

READ ALSO: Danish research finds improved protection from updated Covid-19 vaccine

Infection numbers in Denmark are currently low.

“We have the highest vaccine uptake in Europe and the vaccines have proved to be effective, including for the elderly and most vulnerable. We are in a good place in the Covid-19 epidemic. We can only be pleased about this,” head of section and consultant physician Kirstine Moll Harboe said in the statement.

The health authority nevertheless expects immunity and effectiveness of vaccines to fall over time and will therefore develop a plan for a new booster vaccination campaign to take place in the autumn.