Denmark to offer fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose to high risk groups

A file photo showing syringes prepared with Covid-19 vaccine doses. Denmark is to give a fourth vaccine dose to vulnerable persons.
A file photo showing syringes prepared with Covid-19 vaccine doses. Denmark is to give a fourth vaccine dose to vulnerable persons. File photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
Danish health authorities are to offer a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people considered to be at risk of serious illness with the virus.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed the country’s plan to offer a fourth jab to part of the population at a press briefing on Wednesday evening.

Around 55 percent of Denmark’s population has so-far received a booster jab, also referred to as the ‘third’ dose of the Covid vaccine.

A small number of people, primarily arthritis patients, have already been offered another booster – their fourth dose of the vaccine – intended to boost weakened immunity against Covid-19.

Invitations for the second booster will be sent out to more people from the end of this week, Danish Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm said.

“It is a focused group of people who are at the highest risk. That is cancer patients, patients on immunotherapy and persons with immunodeficiency,” he said.

“They were also offered the third dose among the first groups early in the autumn,” he added.

Brostrøm also said that health authorities are considering giving a fourth dose to care home residents and very elderly persons.

“They are well protected by the third dose, which they were given during the autumn and early winter. But if we see anything that makes us think we should act, then we will do so,” he said.

Information on the effect of a fourth Covid vaccine dose is currently limited because few countries have reached the stage of distributing second boosters.

Israel began giving a fourth dose to at risk and vulnerable groups at the end of December 2021.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, 154 members of staff at the Sheeba Medical Center in Tel Aviv who have been given a fourth dose underwent blood tests before and after the booster. Those measurements showed a five-fold increase in antibodies one week after the vaccination.

Many of the group experienced side effects such as muscle soreness and headache, but there appeared to be no indications that the side effects for the fourth dose are worse than those with the third.

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