Denmark’s policy towards vaccination in the autumn of 2022 will focus on the over-50s. The under-50s will only get a booster if a doctor recommends it. With respect to pregnant women getting vaccinated a decision has yet to be made. The policy is available in English here; below I have printed some selected highlights.
As regards people who’ve had a first or second dose, there’s some gentle persuasion to continue with additional doses but this is primarily targeted at the over-40s and people with pre-existing health issues.
Children will not be vaccinated except with the specific approval of a doctor.
This guidance is a long way from the coercive tone taken by governments around the world over the past 18 months. The Danes explain that their policy reflects their belief that Covid has become a seasonal problem like influenza and that it represents a mild condition for most people.
Based on previous experience, we expect COVID-19 to be a seasonal disease. This means that the disease most likely flares up in fall and winter, just as we know it from, for example, influenza.
It is perhaps worth just looking at the Danish experience of Covid since the vaccination programme started back in December 2020. Figure 1 plots the reported infection rate in Denmark and the U.K. on the left hand axis and shows vaccination take-up on the right hand axis. Having had one of the lowest rates of infection right through 2020, post vaccination Denmark’s reported infection rate peaked at 2.5 times the U.K. rate during the early months of 2022 despite 85% of the population being vaccinated. The Danes appear to have adopted a pragmatic approach in the face of the vaccination’s failure to prevent infection and transmission.
Thank heavens for the Scandinavians! The Swedes did a good job of resisting the temptation to rush, lemming like, into the first lockdown, thus providing a decent real-world counterargument to the lockdown zealots.
The Danes were among the first to notice the link between the vaccination and blood clots and suspend the AstraZeneca vaccine. They also produced just about the only peer-reviewed analysis on the effectiveness of masks and discovered no statistically significant benefit. They were the first to lift lockdown in April 2020, the first to declare Covid no longer a critical threat to society in August 2021 and the first to end all restrictions (despite record reported infections) in January 2022. There was the little local difficulty when they wiped out their entire mink farm industry in November 2020, but in general they seem to have done a pretty good job.
I rather expect this approach to be followed by many other countries, indeed it may already have quietly been adopted fairly broadly, just that no-one has yet announced it.
Finally, one thought strikes me. We now have the situation where China is hoist with its own petard, stuck in a never-ending sequence of lockdowns, its disastrous flagship policy. Meanwhile, the USA is stuck with its disastrous vaccination policy with borders closed to the unvaccinated. What happens if an under-50-year-old unvaccinated Dane wants to travel to the USA, would a Danish doctor now decide this constitutes a medical justification to vaccinate the individual? Interesting times.