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The Danish Health Authority presents plan for revaccination

The revaccination will take place in several phases. The first phase has already begun with residents of nursing homes and people with particularly weakened immune systems, and now we are also including people aged 85 and over in this phase. In the next phase, it is expected that people aged 65 and over, healthcare professionals and people at increased risk will be offered revaccination against COVID-19. People vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen® (Johnson & Johnson) will also be offered revaccination with an mRNA vaccine.

29 SEP 2021

The Danish vaccination effort against COVID-19 is going well. The vaccines against COVID-19 are effective in preventing both infection and COVID-19 disease, thus preventing hospitalization and death. All indicates that the vaccines also have a high efficiency against the Delta variant.

However, the protection from the vaccines gradually diminishes over time, especially among the elderly, who are also at greater risk of developing a serious course of COVID-19. Timing of the revaccination program is therefore crucial. We do not want to initiate revaccination with the possible risk of side effects for no reason. But we do not want to risk initiating the revaccination program too late and thereby risk it having an impact on the incidence of serious illness due to COVID-19 either.

"Fortunately, we have some good and really effective vaccines in our program, which protect the vast majority against a serious course of illness as a result of COVID-19. However, there are some of the elderly aged 85 and over who may have had a lesser effect of their primary vaccination due to their age. They have been fully vaccinated for some time and have an increased risk of developing a more serious course of illness. We want to be absolutely sure that we are well protected, and therefore we believe that the time has come to offer the oldest an extra injection, ”explains Deputy Director General, Helene Probst.

In the next phase of the revaccination program, we expect that it will be relevant to revaccinate the 65-84-year-olds, healthcare professionals and people under the age of 65 at increased risk of a serious course of illness due to COVID-19. Therefore, we are now presenting a plan for these groups in order to be ready when needed. The exact timing of when we begin depends on additional data, especially in relation to decreases in immunity in the groups concerned and side effects. In addition, we are waiting for the vaccines to be EU-approved to use in the revaccination of these groups.It is the Danish Health Authority's expectation that the majority of the population will have to be revaccinated in the long term, but this will not become relevant until 2022 at the earliest.

Vaccine booster shot will be offered to people vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen® (Johnson & Johnson)

In addition to the elderly, the Danish Health Authority also recommends that people who have been vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen® (Johnson & Johnson) are offered revaccination with a mRNA vaccine.

Data from the surveillance of the Danish COVID-19 pandemic and a review of existing literature show that vaccine efficiency is lower among those who have been vaccinated with a single dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen® than among people who have been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine approved for vaccination with two doses. Those vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen® are therefore offered an additional injection with an mRNA vaccine to boost the immune system and increase protection against COVID-19.

“We can see that the vaccine from Janssen continues to provide good protection against a serious course of illness due to COVID-19, but that the level of efficiency against being infected with new coronavirus decreases, especially due to the Delta variant. We also expect that the effect will decrease further in the near future. Therefore, we believe that it is best to recommend that people who have received the vaccine from Janssen in the optional scheme receive a booster injection with an mRNA vaccine. It will provide strengthened and long-lasting protection, ”says Helene Probst.

The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are expected to be approved for the use of revaccination during October. Denmark has a sufficient number of mRNA vaccines in stock to be able to offer revaccination to the entire Danish population.