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The Danish Healthy Authority recommends booster vaccination of everyone aged over 18

The booster vaccination programme is already in progress. The Danish Health Authority recommends that: the principle of booster vaccination six months after full vaccination be continued, so that all adults aged over 18 are offered a third shot against COVID-19.

30 NOV 2021

This article in Danish

Coronavirus infection cases continue to rise. The same applies to the number of hospitalisations, and the strain on hospitals has increased. The primary reasons why we are seeing a flare-up of the pandemic precisely now are the change from summer to autumn and winter and that we have an open society with only a few restrictions. Combined with the decreasing efficacy of the vaccines over time, it is to be expected that the infection rate will increase.

“There is no doubt that we’re facing a serious situation. The strain on hospitals is especially worrying because of the very high number of hospitalisations right now. The vaccines are our most important tool for controlling the pandemic – and booster vaccinations are right now the key to reducing the infection rate and relieving the strain on our healthcare system,” says Deputy Director General Helene Probst.

Booster vaccination protects against a decrease in immunity

The Danish Health Authority has reviewed the current available knowledge about how long you can expect immunity to last after vaccination. It is known that immunity decreases over time, with a significant decline about six months after the second shot. Based on the updated knowledge basis, the Danish Health Authority finds that booster vaccination is effective in preventing the decline in immunity, and that booster vaccination provides better protection against infection as well as against serious illness, hospitalisation and death. The increased effect applies to all age groups.

“Since we started our booster vaccination programme, we have reviewed the latest knowledge and experience in this field. It is now clear that the decline in immunity also applies to people in the younger age groups. On this basis, there has also been a shift in the views on this internationally. There is now increasing expert agreement on offering booster vaccination to everyone aged over 18 in accordance with the same interval. When we are now offering booster vaccination to everyone aged over 18, we are in line with many of the countries that we normally compare ourselves with, including Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. In addition, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) highlights booster vaccination of everyone aged over 18 as a measure against the declining vaccine immunity,” says Helene Probst.

The Danish Health Authority assesses that the administration of booster vaccination to these groups is safe and there is no risk of new serious side effects in connection with a third shot. However, younger people may risk having a stronger reaction to booster vaccination and thus more cases of the known side effects such as pain at the injection site, mild fever, general discomfort and headache.

“We can see that the possible side effects connected with a third shot are largely the same as for the second shot. It also means that we will see rare cases of so-called myocarditis, that is inflammation of the heart muscle, when we administrate booster vaccination to the younger birth cohorts, especially young men, just as we have seen some cases of this after the second shot. But these are very few cases, typically with mild courses of COVID-19 and with good treatment options,” says Helene Probst.

The European Commission has approved that a booster dose of Comirnaty® from Pfizer-BioNTech and a booster dose of Spikevax® from Moderna can be administered as booster vaccination to people aged 18 or above no earlier than six months after the second shot against COVID-19