Denmark becomes first country to suspend Covid vaccinations as virus is brought under control

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Denmark has become the first country to suspend its Covid-19 vaccination programme as its health authority said the virus had been brought under control.

The Danish Health Authority said high levels of vaccination, a drop in the number of new infections, and stabilising hospitalisation rates were contributing factors to the decision to halt the national immunisation drive.

Denmark’s government became the first EU country to remove all pandemic-related domestic restrictions on February 1, when it announced the virus was no longer considered a critical threat.

About 81 per cent of Denmark’s 5.8 million inhabitants are fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine, and a further 62 per cent have received a booster jab.

The government will no longer issue vaccination invitations after May 15 but health officials expect to resume the programme after the summer.

Bolette Soborg, Denmark’s chief physician, said: “We plan to reopen the vaccination programme in the autumn. This will be preceded by a thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate and with which vaccines.”

Tyra Grove Krause, director of infection preparedness at Denmark’s infectious diseases agency SSI, had previously dismissed the effect of even severe restrictions.

The country had lifted its social restrictions in September 2021 before a wave of Omicron infections swept over it two months later, forcing its museums, cinemas, theatres, and concert venues to close ahead of Christmas.

The government intensified its immunisation campaign as a result, but by February had resolved to lift restrictions again.

Experts supported the government’s decision, saying overwhelmed hospitals trumped personal health as a concern for Danes.

“With omicron, it is impossible to stop the spread of infection,” Grove Krause said. -Telegraph