COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Danish health authorities will next week start inviting more citizens to receive a third vaccination shot against COVID-19, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Friday.
Invitations will be sent 6-1/2 months after people received their second vaccination and will initially target those over 65 or healthcare and elderly care workers who were among the first to receive a COVID-19 shots, Heunicke said.
The European Union’s drugs regulator said in October those with weakened immune systems should receive a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, but left it to member states to decide if the wider public should also have a booster.
Denmark began in September to give boosters to residents of elderly homes and others at risk of serious illness from the virus.
The Nordic country lifted its last coronavirus restrictions in September after vaccinating a large part of the population.
So far, 75% of the population have been vaccinated, while 2.2% of Danes have also received a booster.
Immunity against COVID-19 has been shown to degrade over time after vaccination with mRNA-vaccines. But it is still unclear exactly when the vaccine fails to sufficiently protect against severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalisation or death, the health authority said in a note.
(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Edmund Blair)