The Scandinavian country cited its high vaccination rate, a reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases and stable hospitalization rates for the decision to pause the vaccine rollout. Eighty-two percent of its population has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 62 percent have received booster doses. Under the announcement, Danes will no longer receive invitations for vaccinations after May 15.
Dr. Bolette Soborg of the Danish Health Authority (SST), said of the move: "We plan to reopen the vaccination program in the autumn. This will be preceded by a thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate, and with which vaccines."
Soborg, who also serves as the SST's director of preparedness and infectious disease, added in a statement: "We are also seeing a decline in the epidemic and, with spring soon arriving, we do not see the need for people living in nursing homes and people over 85 [years old] being offered a fourth dose this season."
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine professor Dr. Martin McKee elaborated on Denmark's decision: "It's important to be clear that Denmark is not halting vaccination. People who haven't finished their courses will still be able to get doses. It's seen as a pause over the summer, with an expectation that it will resume in the fall."
He added that almost 20 percent of the Danish population remains unvaccinated, and 40 percent had not yet been injected with a booster. "Obviously, with signs of new sub-lineages rising in South Africa – we need to keep our guard, so it is important to keep the situation under review," said McKee. "Of course, this should not detract from the continuing need for new vaccines with a wider spectrum of effectiveness against variants."
Copenhagen's decision to suspend COVID-19 vaccination came months after Denmark rescinded all COVID-19 mandates effective Feb. 1. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in a February press conference: "The pandemic is still here, but with what we know, we now dare to believe that we are through the critical phase." (Related: Welcome to the life we knew before: Denmark is abolishing ALL COVID-19 restrictions.)
However, she brought up the possibility of returning the restrictions, telling Danish radio: "I dare not say that it is a final goodbye to restrictions. We do not know what will happen in the fall, whether there will be a new [COVID-19] variant."
Denmark previously halted the use of two COVID-19 vaccines for its vaccination program due to the risk of vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT) – which involves blood clots and low platelet count.
In April 2021, it permanently removed the AstraZeneca two-dose adenoviral vector vaccine from the list of approved shots for COVID-19.
"Based on the scientific findings, our overall assessment is [that] there is a real risk of severe side effects associated with using the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca. We have therefore decided to remove the vaccine from our vaccination program," SST Director-General Soren Brostrom said in an April 14 statement.
"In the midst of an epidemic, it has been a difficult decision to continue our vaccination program without an effective and readily available vaccine against COVID-19. However, we have other vaccines at our disposal."
The following month, Copenhagen permanently dropped the single-dose Johnson & Johnson adenoviral vector vaccine.
"As the COVID-19 epidemic in Denmark is currently under control, and the vaccination rollout is progressing satisfactorily with other available vaccines, the [SST] has decided to continue the national vaccination campaign without the COVID-19 vaccine from J&J," a May 3 statement said.
"The [SST] has reviewed the use of the COVID-19 from J&J in the Danish COVID-19 vaccination program, based on international data and statements released in the last month. In addition, a team of Danish experts has contributed to the evaluation of the vaccine."
VaccineWars.com has more stories about Denmark's suspension of its COVID-19 vaccination program.
Watch this clip from the Souled Out Podcast about Denmark's decision to lift COVID-19 mandates.
This video is from the SOMTV channel on Brighteon.com.