Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Denmark must immunize 12-15-year-olds against COVID-19 before winter

COPENHAGEN – Denmark is offering COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 12 to 15 after the adult population was vaccinated before winter to boost overall immunity to the virus, health authorities said on Thursday.

Initially, Denmark will only offer Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12-15 year olds, as it is the only vaccine approved by the EU’s drug regulator for use in adolescents, the Danish Health Authority said in a statement.

The EU regulator expects to announce a decision on the use of Moderna in adolescents next month.

“An extension of the target group to 12-15 year olds is needed to ensure even greater immunity in the population, thus ensuring control of the epidemic in Denmark,” said the head of the Danish Health Authority, Soren Brostrom, said .

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Vaccination of adolescents would begin after the last adults were fully vaccinated in mid-September, Brostrom said at a press conference.

“We need the immunity of the population, especially before a winter season,” he said.

In an optimal scenario, Brostrom estimates that approximately 75 percent of Denmark’s population will be immune to the virus after all adults have been vaccinated. To vaccinate the adolescents, he would add another 4 percent to the number, he said.

The Danish health authorities will constantly review new data on the safety of the vaccine, Brostrom said, keeping a close eye on data from the United States, where he said more than 3 million adolescents had been stung by the vaccine.

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Denmark made headlines when it announced in April and May that it would no longer administer vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson to adults due to a possible link with a rare but serious form of blood clot.

The government of the Nordic country has since asked health authorities to reconsider the exclusion of the vaccines, as new data on their effects and side effects have been reported.

Nearly half of the population of Denmark received a first vaccine shot, while more than a quarter were completely vaccinated.

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Nation World News Desk
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