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Who should be vaccinated?

The end goal is to offer vaccination to everyone in Denmark. The Danish Health Authority has determined the order in which the population will be vaccinated.

We have divided the population into 12 prioritised target groups to be vaccinated in the following order:

  1. Residents in nursing homes, assisted living, etc.
  2. People aged ≥ 65 years who receive both personal care and practical assistance.
  3. People aged ≥ 85 years.
  4. Personnel in healthcare, elderly care and selected parts of the social sector who are at particular risk of infection or who has been identified as performing a critical function in society.
  5. Selected persons with conditions and diseases that result in a significantly increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  6. Selected relatives of persons at significantly increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or relatives who are indispensable as carers. 
  7. People aged 80-84.
  8. People aged 75-79.
  9. People aged 65-74.
  10. People under 65 years of age who have conditions and diseases that put them at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  11. Staff in other sectors critical to the functioning of society.
  12. The remaining population, for example prioritised according to age.

This prioritised order is based on a professional assessment on how best to protect volunerable citizens and frontline staff. At this time, some people - for example, children under the age of 16, pregnant or breastfeeding women - cannot be vaccinated because the vaccines have not been approved for them.

Learn more about the target groups in this section:

When will you get vaccinated? 

FAQ - Who should be vaccinated?

1. Can anyone get vaccinated?

Children under the age of 16 and pregnant or breastfeeding women have not been included in any COVID-19 vaccination trials to date, which is why they are not currently offered vaccination. However, in exceptional cases, for example in the event of severe diseases, a child or pregnant woman may be offered vaccination based on an individual, medical assessment.

Women of childbearing age should be aware of whether they may be pregnant before being vaccinated.

2. Is there anyone who should not be vaccinated?

Most people can be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, some people should not be vaccinated due to underlying medical conditions. 

People with food allergies (including eggs, nuts, shellfish and peanuts) or pollen allergy may be vaccinated.  

Examples of when you should be cautious:

  • Blood thinners
    If you are taking prescribed blood thinners, some bleeding or bruising may occur after injection of the vaccine into the muscle, but usually, it is safe for you to be vaccinated. In case you have too few platelets or a bleeding disorder such as haemophilia, where injection into muscles is not recommended, you should not be vaccinated unless the potiential advantages clearly outweith the risk of vaccination.

  • Immediate severe allergic reations
    If you have a known severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to one or more of the active ingredients in the vaccines, such as macrogol/PEG/polyethene glycol, you should not be vaccinated.
    If you do not have a known allergy to one of the ingredients, you may go ahead with the vaccination. However, please consult your doctor before vaccination if you have previously experienced a severe allergic reaction immediately following another vaccination. Your doctor can assess whether, based on your medical history, you might have an allergy to the active ingredients in the vaccines.

    If you had a severe allergic reaction immediately following the first vaccination, do not get vaccinated with the second dose.

    People who suffer from the disease mastocytosis have an increased risk of having an allergic reaction immediately following any vaccination. Therefore, people with mastocytosis must be assessed by Hudafdeling I and the Allergy Centre at Odense University Hospital.

  • Impaired immune system 
    Generally speaking, people with immunodeficiency or people who receive immunosuppressive treatment, such as high-dose prednisolone or biological treatment, may be vaccinated. However, the effect of vaccination may be reduced.

3. Can I get vaccinated if I am pregnant?

I am pregnant/breastfeeding 
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not be vaccinated, except in exceptional circumstances - for example, if you suffer from severe illness.

I'm trying to get my partner pregnant
You can get vaccinated if you are trying to get pregnant or get your partner pregnant. The vaccines do not affect your ability to have children. 

I am vaccinated and would like to try to get pregnant 
There are no recommendations for a specific time interval to elapse before you become pregnant after being vaccinated against COVID-19. There is no evidence that getting vaccinated affects fertility. 

I have become pregnant between the 1st and 2nd injections of the vaccine
If you fall pregnant between the 1st and 2nd vaccination, we recommended that you postpone the 2nd injection of the vaccine until such time that you are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding. 

I am unsure if I have become pregnant since I got the first injection of the vaccine 
Please consult your doctor if you discover that you were pregnant at the time of your 1st injection. 

The presumption is that there is little or no risk of the foetus being harmed by vaccination. Nevertheless, women of childbearing age should be aware of whether they may be pregnant before they are vaccinated.

4. Why vaccinate young and healthy individuals?

No one knows how ill they will get from COVID-19. Young and seemingly healthy individuals can also get severely ill. Also, for some who recover from COVID-19, symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, headache and loss of sense of taste and smell may persist for as long as six months. 

That is why we recommend that everyone for whom the vaccines have been approved get vaccinated.

5. Can the authorities demand that you be vaccinated?

No, the offer is voluntary - as are all publicly funded vaccination programmes in Denmark.

6. ny Which target group do I belong in if, for example, I turn 75 this year?

Age groups are based on the year you were born - not the date or month.

Therefore, if you turn 75 in 2021, you belong in the age group 75-79 year-olds. This guiding principle applies to all age groups. 

7. How do you find those at high or particularly high risk who should be vaccinated early on?

Only a small number of those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (Group 10) are at particularly high risk of being hospitalised and even die from COVID-19 (Group 5).

Besides having an illness that puts them at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, individuals in Group 5 must also meet the following criteria:

  •  Be particularly ill from the disease in question.
  • Be of very advanced age.
  • Suffer from several diseases at the same time. 
  • Be on several different types of medication.

Individuals in Group 5 are usually treated for their diseases in the hospital.

Advanced age is definitely a factor that puts you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Therefore, people aged 65-70 who suffer from severe diseases will be included. Children and young adults will not usually be categorised as being at higher risk – even if they suffer from severe illnesses or conditions. 

How do you identify those you are at particularly high risk?

The vast majority of people at particularly high risk (Group 5) go for regular check-ups at the hospital. Based on the medical records, for example, the hospitals are responsible for identifying those at particularly high risk.

A minority of those at particularly high risk do not currently go for regular check-up or treatment at the hospital. These persons may be referred by their doctor, who identify the relevant patients either by prior knowledge of the patient or by looking through their medical records system. Specialists can refer patients directly, but will typically refer patients to their own doctor, who then determines whether they should be included in Group 5.

When you are referred to vaccination as someone at particularly high risk, you will get a letter in your e-Boks or a letter in the mail if you are exempt from receiving Digital Post.

Many people in Group 5 are referred for vaccination by the hospital, so your own doctor will not know whether you have been referred. 

We urge you to please be patient at this time.

 

 

8. Can relatives of someone at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 get vaccinated early on?

A select few relatives of those at particularly high risk may be vaccinated early (Group 6). This applies to individuals who:

  • Is the relative of someone who either cannot be vaccinated or insufficient efficacy of the vaccine is anticipated.
  • Acts as an indispensable caregiver to the relative at particularly high risk.
  • Not only lives with the person at risk but is involved in specific nursing tasks that put her or him at higher risk of becoming infected – such as tracheal suction.

Either your own doctor or your relative's doctor will determine if you should be included in Group 6.

9. I belong in several target groups, when can I expect to get vaccinated?

You will be offered vaccination according to the highest priority target group to which you belong. The following are examples of people who belong in several target groups:

  • 63-year-old A&E nurse with COPD
    She belongs in three target groups: her age places her in group 12; chronic illness place her in target group 10, and her work as frontline staff places her in target group 4. 
    She will be offered vaccination as part of target group 4. As frontline staff in an emergency department, she cannot avoid close contact with people who could be infected with novel coronavirus or at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. She can expect to receive the offer of vaccination sometime between now and April. The exact time depends on which region she works in.
  • 57-year-old woman whose husband has blood cancer and a severely impaired immune system
    She belongs in target group 6, consisting of selected relatives of people at particularly high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and in target group 12 because of her age. Being the relative of someone at particularly high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, she will be offered vaccination as part of target group 6.
  • 55-year-old kindergarten teacher in an area where the virus is widespread
    According to his age, he belongs in target group 12 – i.e. the remaining population (everyone over the age of 16) and can expect to be offered vaccination from mid-April until June. Working with children is not a particular risk factor, as children are generally not severely affected by COVID-19. Therefore, working with children is not a prioritising factor and teachers are not automatically included in group 11: Staff in other sectors critical to the functioning of society.
  • 27-year-old social pedagogue who works at a residential treatment facility for young people who are severely physically or mentally disabled
    His age puts him in target group 12 – i.e. the remaining population (everyone over the age of 16). However, his work also puts him in target group 4 because he works with people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Therefore, he will be vaccinated as part of target group 4 and can expect to be offered vaccination sometime between now and April.
  • 35-year-old teacher at a special needs school
    His age puts in in target group 12 - i.e. the remaining population (everyone over the age of 16) – and he can expect to receive the offer of vaccination sometime between mid-April and June. Working with children is not a particular risk factor for getting COVID-19, as children are not generally severely affected by the disease.Therefore, teachers are not included in group 11: Staff in other sectors critical to the functioning of society.
  • 78-year-old man with high blood pressure
    High blood pressure in itself does not increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Therefore, he is offered vaccination based on his age and belongs in the target group 8 (75-79 year-olds). He can expect to be offered vaccination sometime between mid-March and mid-May.
  • 23-year-old woman with cystic fibrosis
    This woman belongs in target group 5 because her disease puts her at particularly high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. She can expect to be offered vaccination sometime between now and mid-April.
  • 64-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease
    This man is at higher risk due to his disease and therefore belongs in target group 10. He can expect to be offered vaccination sometime between April and mid-May. His age alone would put him in target group 12.
  • Daughter of a 65-year-old man on dialysis due to kidney disease. The daughter does not live at home.
    Only a small group of relatives are offered vaccination. In this particular case, the daughter will not be included in this group because she does not participate in her father's care. Although he may be at high risk, her father is not at particularly high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Therefore, he will be vaccinated when it is his turn. The daughter belongs in target group 12 (remaining population over the age of 16) and is likely to be offered vaccination between mid-April and June.
  • 18-year-old woman who works as a temporarily employed assistant in a nursing home
    She is in target group 4 because her work involves people in target group 1 – residents in nursing homes, etc. She can expect to be offered vaccination sometime between now and April. The nursing home administration determines the order in which staff is vaccinated.
  • 55-year-old man who, due to heart failure, is short of breath even when engaging in light physical activities.
    This man is at higher risk due to his illness and belongs in target group 10. He can expect to be vaccinated sometime between April and mid-May.
  • Severely obese (BMI > 35) 35-year-old woman 
    Because she is severely overweight, she is at higher risk and belongs in target group 10. She can expect to be offered vaccination sometime between April and mid-May. 

10. Who decides whether I should be vaccinated because of my profession?

Management will determine the order in which frontline staff is offered vaccination. Students and temporary staff who work as frontline staff belong in group 4. Therefore, they will be offered vaccination by virtue of the tasks they perform.

The Danish Health Authority has announced that any prioritisation of frontline staff must follow these guiding principles:

  • How exposed the employee is to infection with novel coronavirus.  
    • High risk: close contact with unassessed patient or patients either suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
    • Medium risk: close contact with assessed patients.
    • Low risk: when it is possible to keep your distance
    • No risk: when you do come into contact with patients
  • The severity of the consequences should the employee inadvertently infect his or her patient/client.
    • The risk is, for example, high if the employee has close contact with people at particularly high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 
    • The risk is low if the employee only has contact with people who are not expected to become particularly ill if they become infected – e.g. young and healthy.
  • The severity of the consequences if the employee is infected and becomes ill
    • The risk is high if the employee in question hold such specialised functions that he or she will be hard to replace. 

The deciding factor is whether you have close physical or patient contact in your work. If you do not – or if you can maintain a physical distance – you are not included in target group 4.

Therefore, there must be very specific reasons why you should be included in target group 4 and be vaccinated ahead of the elderly and others who are at higher risk of having severe illness from COVID-19.

Students and temporary workers who work as frontline staff may also belong to target group 4 and must be assessed according to the same criteria as the permanent staff.
It is the responsibility of each employer to determine which staff will be offered vaccination.

If you are unsure whether you should be offered vaccination, please contact your employer or relevant trade union.

11. What does it mean to be a critical worker?

Critical workers (or key workers) include people whose jobs or skill sets are vital to the functioning of society.

Examples

  • Power plant control room operators
    The energy sector is crucial to society, and, e.g. highly skilled control room operators are not easily replaced, and we need them to maintain the heat supply in Denmark. 

    For this reason, control room operators are considered critical workers.
  • Food transport delivery drivers
    We need to maintain a steady supply of food in Denmark. However, individual drivers are relatively easily replaced. 

    Food transport delivery drivers are therefore not considered critical workers.   
 

12. When will private health professionals be offered vaccination?

Initially, only a select group of staff in nursing homes, emergency and intensive care units will be offered vaccination.

We are aware that private health professionals are anxious to know when they can be vaccinated and will let you know as soon as possible.

13. Can children at particularly high risk get vaccinated?

As a rule, children under 16 years of age are not offered vaccination against COVID-19 because the vaccines have not been studied or tested on these age groups.

However, in exceptional circumstances, such as if the child suffers from a serious illness which renders it particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the child's doctor may decide that the child should be vaccinated.

 

14. Will the vaccines will be approved for children?

Scientific studies on Comirnaty®, COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® and AstraZeneca® are currently ongoing. When those results are in, we will know much more about efficacy and side effects on children and adolescents and whether we will begin vaccinated those age groups at a later stage. 

15. Can you get vaccinated if you have botox or implants?

You can get vaccinated if you have been injected with botox or have implants. There have bee a few cases where the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® has caused facial swelling in people with dermal fillers. However, dermal fillers are not the same as either botox or implants.

16. Can you get vaccinated if you take other medications?

Yes, the vast majority of people will be able to be vaccinated. However, some medications are not compatible with injections into the muscle (some very powerful blood thinners, for example).  If you have been told that you should not receive injections into the muscle, this also applies to the COVID-19 vaccines. Regular blood thinners are not an obstacle to vaccination against COVID-19.

Updated 26 FEB 2021