Health personnel are preparing injection syringes with the Covid-19 vaccine in 2021 in Copenhagen, Denmark. the country has now announced that it will suspend its vaccination program and review if necessary later in the year.
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Denmark has become the first country to stop its Covid vaccination programme, saying it is doing so because the virus is already under control.
“Spring has come, vaccination coverage in 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 finalizing extensive vaccination efforts against Covid-19 for this season,” he said. People will not be invited to get vaccinated after May 15, she said, although everyone will be able to finish their vaccination course.
Denmark’s Covid vaccination campaign began shortly after Christmas 2020. Some 4.8 million citizens have been vaccinated, the health authority said, and more than 3.6 million people 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 in a good place,” said Bolette Soborg, a unit manager at the National Board of Health.
“We have good control of the epidemic, which seems to be subsiding. Entry fees [to hospital] they are stable and we also expect them to go down soon. For this reason, we are rounding off the massive vaccination program against Covid-19.”
Soborg insisted that the public can still get vaccinated during the spring and summer if they want, and that vaccination sites will remain open across the country.
He added that immunization is still recommended for people for whom Covid poses a higher risk, such as people over 40 and unvaccinated pregnant women. “We also continue to recommend that you complete your started vaccination course,” she said.
Denmark’s move to suspend its vaccination program comes as the Covid situation around the world remains mixed. Europe and the US have abandoned most covid restrictions, but China continues to impose (or consider) lockdowns as the virus spreads in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing.
Far from scrapping its vaccination program entirely, however, the Danish Health and Medicines Authority 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 over the course of the pandemic, now in its third year. These have eroded the efficacy of Covid vaccines that were developed in record time in 2020, although shots licensed in the West are still effective in preventing serious infections, hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19.
With the vaccination program likely to restart in a few months, Danish health experts will discuss who should be vaccinated, when the injections should be given, and which vaccines should be used.
The Danish Health and Medicines Authority said it would continue to closely monitor the development of the epidemic and is ready to restart vaccination efforts again if additional target groups need to be immunized before the fall.