Denmark becomes the first country to halt its COVID vaccination program as officials say the virus is under control

Denmark has become the first country to suspend its COVID vaccination program as health officials say the country’s outbreak has been brought under control.

“Spring has arrived, the vaccination coverage of the Danish population is high and the epidemic has reversed,” the health authority said. “Therefore, the National Board of Health is now ending extensive COVID-19 vaccination efforts for this season.”

According to official data, 89% of people over the age of 12 in Denmark have been fully vaccinated against COVID, while 76% of adults have received a booster shot.

Almost half of children aged 5 to 11 have received one dose of the vaccine, while a third have received two.

On Wednesday, Denmark registered 1,386 new cases of the virus, according to Our World in Data.

In a statement emailed Thursday, the Danish health authority said Fortune that the epidemic situation in Denmark is “favourable”.

“We can therefore close the general vaccination program for spring and summer, which means that new invitations to be vaccinated are no longer sent,” the authority said.

Authorities are expected to stop sending invitations for vaccination from May 15. But the health authority said it continues to recommend vaccination against COVID, especially for those at greater risk of serious illness. Those most at risk are eligible for a fourth dose of the vaccine in Denmark.

“We will continue to closely monitor the evolution of the epidemic and we are ready to resume the general vaccination program if the need arises before a new season of COVID-19 begins in the fall” , said the Danish Health Authority. Fortune.

The authority is likely to resume its extensive vaccination program in the fall, with officials saying it will likely be necessary to vaccinate ahead of an expected seasonal spike in infections.

Denmark’s withdrawal from its aggressive vaccination strategy reflects the country’s somewhat passive response to COVID this year.

In February, Denmark lifted nearly all of its COVID restrictions as it was in the midst of a huge Omicron surge and virus cases hit record highs.

Danish health officials have touted so-called hybrid immunity — widespread population immunity achieved through a combination of vaccination and infection — as one reason the country’s COVID outbreak is becoming more controllable.

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