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COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE: Re-vaccination plan now ready – also for expats

NEW: Danish health authorities announce that the booster vaccine will be available for all residents above the age of 18.

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By Bente D. Knudsen
Other European countries are offering the 3rd COVID-19 vaccine, also called the booster vaccine, to all of their citizens, and today, the Danish Health Board anounced that it had revised its position (since September 2021 all residents above the age of 65 have been offered the booster vaccine).

In a press release, the board announced that six months after having had their second shot, all Danish residents above the age of 18 will be offered the booster vaccine.

Invitations to get the third COVID-19 vaccine will be sent out via e-Boks and enable residents to book their 3rd shot in the same way they booked their first two shots at the site of or by calling the regional hotline.

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The recommendation to enlarge the booster vaccine offer comes after evidence shows that the current two shots are less efficient six months after the last shot was given.

Efficiency levels fall from around 95 percent to 47 percent after six months of for instance the most current vaccine given in Denmark, the Comirnaty®Pfizer-BioNTech.

Since we started with the re-vaccinations, we have studied the newest available information and experience and it has become clear that the immunity response of the vaccine diminishes over time also for younger people. This is the background for the changes in position also internationally. There is growing scientific agreement that the booster shot should be administered after six months to citizens above 18 years of age.

And when we in Denmark offer this third shot to all above the age of 18, we are in line with many of the countries with which we normally compare ourselves such as Norway, The Netherlands and Germany.

ECDC also recommends the booster shot to all citizens above the age of 18 as a response to the fall in vaccine efficiency,” Helene Probst from the Danish Health Board said in today’s a press release.

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The Danish Health Board has evaluated the booster shot for this new age group and says that the re-vaccinations are safe for all age groups and that there is no risk of new serious side-effects of the third shot.

However, young people may react more to the re-vaccination and there may be cases of the known side effects such as pain at the injection point, light fever, the feeling of discomfort or headache (these side effects were also seen after the 2nd shot).

We have found that the possible side effects of the third shot are the same as those of the second shot. This also means that we will see very rare cases of heart muscle infection, the so-called myocarditis, when we revaccinate the younger age groups, particularly young men, just as there have been a few cases after the second shot.

But these cases are extremely rare, and they are mild with good treatment possibilities, Helene Probst said in the press release.

Foreign residents living in Denmark will receive their booster shot invitation in their E-box mail automatically when the six months since their second shot have passed.

The Danish Government aims at being able to offer a vaccine within seven days of receiving the invitation.

All Danish residents, including foreigners who are residents in the country and have a yellow health card, Danish address and CPR number are offered the  COVID-19 vaccine for free.

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