Denmark first country to halt its Covid vaccination program – Reuters News in France and abroad

A researcher works on a vaccine against the novel coronavirus COVID-19 at the University of Copenhagen’s research laboratory in Copenhagen, Denmark, March 23, 2020.

Thibaut Savary | AFP | Getty Images

Denmark has become the first country to halt its Covid vaccination program, saying it is doing so because the virus is now under control.

“Spring has arrived, the vaccination coverage of the Danish population is high and the epidemic has reversed,” the Danish Health Authority said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Therefore, the National Board of Health is now ending extensive Covid-19 vaccination efforts for this season,” he said. People will no longer be asked to get vaccinated from May 15, he said, although anyone can complete their vaccination cycle.

The Covid vaccination campaign in Denmark began shortly after Christmas in 2020. Some 4.8 million citizens have been vaccinated, the health authority said, and more than 3.6 million people have received a booster shot. .

At the same time, many people have been infected since the omicron variant became the dominant strain of the virus, he said, meaning immunity levels among the population are high.

“We are well placed,” commented Bolette Soborg, head of unit at the National Health Council.

“We have good control of the epidemic, which seems to be easing. Admission rate [to hospital] are stable and we also expect them to fall soon. Therefore, we are completing the mass vaccination program against Covid-19.”

Soborg insisted that the public can still be vaccinated in the spring and summer if they wish, and that vaccination sites will remain open across the country.

He added that vaccination was still recommended for people for whom Covid poses an increased risk, such as those over 40 and for unvaccinated pregnant women. “We also continue to recommend that you complete your started vaccination course,” he said.

Vaccinations likely to resume

Denmark’s decision to suspend its vaccination program comes as the Covid situation around the world remains mixed. Europe and the United States have dropped most Covid restrictions, but China is still imposing (or considering) lockdowns as the virus spreads in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing.

Far from abandoning its vaccination program altogether, however, the Danish Health and Medicines Authority has said it will likely be necessary to vaccinate against Covid-19 again in the fall as the virus continues to mutate.

New variants have emerged during the pandemic, which is now in its third year. These have eroded the effectiveness of Covid vaccines which were developed in record time in 2020, although injections allowed in the West remain effective in preventing serious infections, hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19.

With the vaccination program due to restart in a few months, Danish health experts will examine who should be vaccinated, when injections should be given and which vaccines should be used.

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority said it will continue to closely monitor the development of the epidemic and is ready to restart vaccination efforts if there is a need to vaccinate additional target groups. before fall.

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Denmark first country to halt its Covid vaccination program – Reuters News in France and abroad