Denmark to offer 4th vaccine dose to vulnerable

COVID vaccine
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The Danish government on Wednesday proposed a fourth COVID vaccine dose for highly vulnerable people, amid a spike in cases of the Omicron variant.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said the move marked a "new chapter" in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Denmark will offer the fourth dose to "the most vulnerable citizens"—notably those diagnosed with serious ailments who received an initial booster during the autumn, Heunicke told a news conference.

Health authorities said those concerned would be contacted by early next week.

Heunicke also announced the re-opening of cultural institutions, closed since December 19 in a country where 3,433 people have died since the start of the pandemic, according to latest official data published Wednesday.

Denmark, population 5.8 million, has so far logged more than one million COVID cases, with more than 90 percent of those emerging in recent weeks of the Omicron variant.

A maximum of 500 will be allowed into indoor venues but bars and restaurants will have to close at 11 pm and the sale of alcohol will be banned from 10 pm.

Praising an "ambitious" immunisation campaign, Heunicke said Denmark "once again has the epidemic under control" as it looks to join Israel and Chile in offering a fourth dose to at-risk citizens.

The validity of passes for the 79.6 percent of the population jabbed will meanwhile be cut from the current seven to five months following a second dose.

After a third dose—which 54.6 percent of the have received to date—the pass will be valid indefinitely.

© 2022 AFP

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