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Tipsheet

A Country's Health Officials See ‘No Reason’ to Continue Administering COVID-19 Vaccines

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Last week, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization (WHO) gave a press conference where he warned countries against lifting COVID-19 restrictions, saying that the virus “continues to evolve.” In his remarks, Ghebreyesus also stated that countries should not rely on vaccines alone to solve the pandemic. Reports surfaced Friday that one European country sees “no reason” to continue administering COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses to their residents.

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According to the Associated Press, health authorities in Denmark said Friday that they are considering “winding down” the country’s coronavirus vaccination program. At this point, they “see no reason now to administer a booster dose to children or a fourth shot to any more residents at severe risk of COVID-19.”

In a statement, the Danish Health Authority reportedly outlined its reasoning behind the consideration. Their reasoning included that the third infection wave in Europe waned “due to large population immunity.”

“The very high vaccine coverage in Denmark, especially with the third shot, means that we can cope with increasing infection without getting serious illness,” the government agency reportedly said in a statement.

“Last month, the Danish government said it was offering a fourth vaccine dose to older adults and other vulnerable citizens because the pandemic situation had worsened amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus,” the AP reported. “But a Health Authority assessment concluded that three shots had provided good protection to nursing home residents and people over age 85, and the agency decided it was unnecessary to provide them with additional shots right now.”

Denmark expanded its vaccination program to children ages 5 to 11 in November when the Delta variant swept the nation. Health authorities said Friday that they are planning to “round off the current vaccination program for all target groups,” including children. More than 80 percent of the population has received two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine while 61.3 percent also got a booster.

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The agency said it is “winding down the entire general vaccination program later in the spring” but added “we are ready to change our decision if, contrary to expectations, there is a fourth spring wave or new worrying variants this spring.”

Denmark ditched many pandemic-related restrictions this year after COVID-19 was no longer deemed a critical disease in the country.

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