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COVID-19 vaccination ready to start at Christmas

The Danish health authorities have the plan ready now that the EU has approved the first vaccine. Denmark expects to start vaccinations at the latest the 27 December.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

The preliminary plan was presented at a press meeting on 26 November, and with the latest days’ news that the vaccine is on its way to Denmark, the plan has been further refined.

The first to be offered the vaccination will be elderly in old people’s homes in areas with high rates of spread as they are most at risk of getting infected.

In the Copenhagen area the municipality hardest hit is Ishøj and therefore they have been informed that their elderly will be the first ones to be vaccinated.

In the first shipment, Denmark is getting 10,000 vaccines, which is less than first hoped for, but the next shipments are expected to come quickly after that from the factory of Pfizer-Bionteck in Belgium.

The plan is clear:

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For Danish residents, the vaccine will be free and voluntary and access to the vaccine will be prioritised so that elderly and people at risk of being seriously ill with coronavirus will be able to be vaccinated first.

Danish residents mean all with a Danish address on their yellow health card.

The vaccine will not be available for purchase nor in private clinics but only through public health centres, most likely through the same centres as the Covid-19 test centres, the Testcenter Danmark but could also be in other centres which is being organised by the Danish Health Board, Sundhedsstyrelsen together with the Danish regions ( there are 5 regions in Denmark responsible for the medical sector in each region).

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However ,the authorities warn that this will not mean the end of the different measures in place to prevent spread as in the beginning vaccines will be limited to risk groups and in order to reduce risk of spread, the many measures, which Danish residents have gotten used to the past eight months, will still be needed.

There is no doubt that with the vaccines we will get at very efficient new tool to help us control the epidemic but we must at the same time continue to do the things we know work well, hand hygiene, distancing and most importantly; stay home when we are ill,the Director of the Danish Health Board,Søren Brostrøm, said in a press release.

Denmark has subscribed to the European coronvirus vaccine purchase program and will receive the amount of vaccines corresponding to the population size.

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The authorities stress that in the first phase a priority will be those most at risk; people with chronic diseases, the elderly and those employed in the health and care sector.

This is because in the beginningmore limited quantities are be available and therefore the vaccine plan takes into account that all of 2021 will be needed to achieve a reach of up to 70 to 95 percent of the population in order to reduce spread by offering the vaccine to other age groups.

In recent days experts have voiced the hope that ny September 2021 all who wanted to get vaccinated have been.

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In Danish media,such as in Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, some critical voices were heard concerning the location of the vaccine centres at the Test Center Danmark locations as elderly might refrain from getting vaccinated if they have to go to another location than their GP or the pharmacy in their neighbourhood; two locations they use for the seasonal flu vaccine.

However as a distribution temperature at -70 degrees Celsius is required for the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine the Danish hospitals will also be involved in the distribution and vaccination plan as they have experience in handling vaccines with special requirements.

It is a huge task, but we have a lot of experience from other vaccination programmes such as our children’s vaccine program and the seasonal flu vaccination program. But it is clear that the task of planning a program for a COVID-19 vaccine with most likely several different types of vaccines to different target groups is bigger than anything we have done before, Søren Brostrøm says.

The authorities also have their focus on information as they know from the past that making sure the population is informed about the vaccines, their efficiency and any side effects, is important for them to decide whether or not they should get vaccinated.

In the coming months several information campaigns will be launched in different media and on social media platforms to inform about the final plan once it is known which COVID-19 vaccines will be available and when.

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Those who are prioritised first will be informed that they can get vaccinated through e-boks and it is also most likely that GP’s will be asked to inform selected patients, such as those with chronic diseases and others on the risk group list.

The Danish Government has secured  several vaccines for Denmark amongst other 
Astra Zeneca: 2,. million vaccines
Sanofi-GSK: 2 million vaccines
Johnson & Johnson: 5.6 million vaccines
BioNTech/Pfizer: 2 million vaccines ( this one is the first one which is being shipped to Denmark for Christmas)
CureVac: 2.6 million vaccines

Your Danish Life will keep updating when more information is available.

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