Denmark First Country to Pause National Covid Vaccination Program

Denmark, which in February lifted all curbs related to the coronavirus pandemic, said on Tuesday it was suspending its national program to inject people with synthetic mRNA.

Noting that the epidemic was under control and that vaccination levels were high, the Danish Health Authority said the country was in a “good position.”

“Therefore we are winding down the mass vaccination program against Covid-19,” said Bolette Søborg, director of the authority’s department of infectious diseases.

Around 81 percent of Denmark’s 5.8 million inhabitants have received two doses of synthetic mRNA and 61.6 percent have also received a booster.

Denmark noted a drop in the number of new infections and stable hospitalization rates.

While invitations for vaccinations would no longer be issued after May 15, health officials anticipate that vaccinations would resume after the summer.

“We plan to reopen the vaccination programme in the autumn. This will be preceded by a thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate and with which vaccines,” Søborg said.

As a wave of the Omicron variant hit the country last November, Denmark intensified its immunization campaign, accelerating access to booster shots and offering a fourth dose from mid-January to the most vulnerable.

In February, the Danish Health Authority announced that a third dose to people under the age of 18 and a fourth dose for certain groups would not be offered.

Denmark started vaccinating against COVID-19 in December 2020. The country has one of the highest levels of COVID-19 vaccination in the European Union. Among the approved shots are Pfizer–BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Janssen J&J. Novavax was only approved in December 2021.