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Huge difference in COVID-19 vaccine rates across the country

Danish health authorities battle low vaccination rates in several municipalities

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By Bente D. Knudsen

In several municipalities with a large share of non-ethnic Danish residents’ vaccine rates are low, much lower than the country average and much lower than where the health authorities would like vaccine rates to be.

Every day the Danish Institute for Infectious Diseases, SSI, publishes detailed data about the current vaccine rates on an interactive dashboard. The data is available to anyone wishing to get a detailed and up to date picture of the current vaccine situation in the country.

The Danish Islands are top of the class; Ærø, Samsø, Læsø, Fanø, Langeland and Bornholm all have rates above 81 percent for those who have had their first shot and above 79,8 percent have had both shots.

Why? A guess could be that they have quite some distance to the nearest intensive care unit of their regional hospital.

Most municipalities are on the country average which is 77.2 percent have had their first shot (4,535,368 Danish residents above the age of 12) and 75.6 percent have had both shots (4,436,345 Danish residents above the age of 12).

The percentage for residents above the age of 65 on a country average is even higher, currently 96 percent have received both shots and booster vaccinations have started for this age group. For those above the age of 50,  90,7 percent have received both shots.

At the lower end of the scale are municipalities south-west of Copenhagen in the Københavns Vestegns Kommuner as they are called.

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These municipalities have a high share of non- ethnic Danish residents and despite attempts to reach out to local communities with information campaigns in several languages spoken there, vaccine rates remain amongst the lowest in the country.

Bottom of the class is the municipality of Ishøj where only 65,4 percent have had their first shot and only 62,9 percent have had both shots, far below the country average.

Four other municipalities in the same area are also battling vaccination rates far below the country average:

Brøndby 68,1 percent first shot and 66,3 percent two shots

Høje Tåstrup 69,7 percent first shot, 67,6 percent two shots

Albertslund 69,7 percent first shot and 67,2 percent two shots

Vallensbæk 70,8 percent first shot and 68,9 percent second shot.

The interactive dashboard can be found here.

A plan for revaccination of all Danes above the age of 65 with a third booster shot has been announced as well as health care personnel below the age of 65 and residents belwo the age of 65 at risk of a severe illness should they get infected. A total of  1.5 million Danish residents will be invited to get their third shot.

The health authorities are currently evaluating if everyone above the age of 18 should be offered a booster shot, at present a decision has not been made, however, should a booster vaccine be given, it should be with a distance of at least 6 months between the second and third shot according to the Danish Institute of Infectious Diseases, SSI.

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