COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark has joined other European countries in offering a third COVID-19 vaccination to anyone over the age of 18 amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
The Danish health authority said on Thursday that the “decrease in immunity is also happening for people in the younger age groups”.
Helene Probst, deputy head of the government agency, said: “Revaccination is offered at the same interval to everyone over the age of 18.”
Denmark, like many other countries in Europe, has seen an increase in infections, with health authorities saying the number of cases and hospitalizations have risen faster than expected.
“If we see the epidemic flare up now, it is mainly because of the transition from summer to autumn and winter, and at the same time we have an open society with few restrictions. Combined with the fact that the effect of the vaccines wears off over time, the infection is expected to increase,” Probst said in a statement.
In Denmark, which has already offered booster shots to the elderly and frail, the third shot will now be offered to people six months after the second shot. Vaccination in the Scandinavian country is voluntary.
According to official figures, 88.4% in Denmark have received the first injection, while 86.4% have received the second injection.
Sweden recommended on Wednesday that everyone between the ages of 18 and 65 should receive a booster vaccination against COVID-19 six months after the second shot.
On Wednesday, the Danish government said it would seek support in parliament to reintroduce mandates for wearing face masks in public places and expand the use of the country’s COVID-19 digital pass. Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said that “the delta variant is much more contagious, and that challenges us.”