Denmark says it will stop administering COVID-19 vaccines now that the spread of the virus is under control.
“Spring has arrived, vaccine coverage in the Danish population is high, and the epidemic has reversed,” the Danish Health Authority said in a statement Wednesday.
“Therefore, the National Board of Health is now ending the broad vaccination efforts against Covid-19 for this season,” it said. People will not be invited for vaccines from May 15, it said, although everyone will be able to finish their course of vaccination.
Denmark’s vaccine campaign began soon after Christmas in 2020. The health authority said that 4.8 million citizens have been vaccinated, with more than 3.6 million people receiving a booster shot.
Meanwhile, many people have been infected with the omicron variant of the virus, which has become the dominant strain. This high level of infection among the population means that immunity levels are also high.
“We are in a good place,” Bolette Soborg, unit manager at the National Board of Health, commented.
“We have good control of the epidemic, which seems to be subsiding. Admission rates [to hospitals] are stable and we also expect them to fall soon. Therefore, we are rounding up the mass vaccination program against Covid-19.”
Soborg said that vaccination sites will remain open and that people can still get vaccinated over the spring and summer if they want to.
He added that immunization was still recommended to people for whom Covid poses a heightened risk, such as those over the age of 40 and for unvaccinated pregnant women. “We also continue to recommend that you complete your started vaccination course,” he said.
Vaccinations Will Likely Resume
Denmark’s decision to suspend its vaccination program is a sign of the mixed reactions around the world to Covid. Europe and the U.S. have abandoned most Covid restrictions, but China is still imposing lockdowns as the virus spreads in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing.
The Danish Health and Medicines Authority said that while it is likely that Covid-19 will need to be vaccinated against again in the fall, it is important to remember that the virus is still evolving and that the vaccine may not be 100% effective.
The Covid virus continues to cause significant illness and death in people around the world, with new variants emerging over the past year. While the original Covid vaccines developed in 2020 remain effective in preventing serious infection, hospitalization and death from Covid-19, newer variants have eroded their efficacy. Therefore, the vaccines authorized for use in the West remain effective at preventing serious infection, hospitalization and death from Covid-19.
Denmark’s health experts will shortly be restarting the country’s vaccination program. They will be looking at who should be vaccinated, when the shots should be given, and which vaccines should be used.
The Danish Health and Medicines Authority says it is closely monitoring the development of the Ebola epidemic and is prepared to restart vaccination efforts if necessary before the fall.