Denmark first country to suspend Covid-19 vaccination programme 

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Denmark has become the first country in the world to suspend the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Danish Health Authority said that the epidemic has been brought under control and that the country was in a “good position”.

“Therefore we are winding down the mass vaccination programme against Covid-19,” said Bolette Soborg, director of the authority’s department of infectious diseases. This comes as Denmark reported a drop in the number of new infections and stable hospitalisation rates. 

Around 81 percent of Denmark’s 5.8 million population have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 61.6 percent have received the booster dose as well.

Read Also: Prime Minister Modi to visit Denmark, Germany, France from May 2-4 in his first overseas visit in 2022

Denmark to suspend COVID-19 vaccination after May 15

Denmark’s health officials stated that the invitations for vaccinations would no longer be issued after May 15th. They, however, plan to resume their vaccination programme in the autumn. This will follow a thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate and with which vaccines.

Denmark had intensified its vaccination campaign after a wave of Omicron variant hit the nation in November 2021. The country had increased access to booster shots and had begun offering a fourth dose of the vaccine to the most vulnerable population from mid-January.

The country had also lifted all COVID-19 related restrictions in February 2022. 

EU to enter post-emergency phase of COVID-19 pandemic?

The European Union is preparing itself for a new post-emergency phase of the pandemic, in which it aims to focus more on testing and monitoring of the cases. The shift comes amid a drop in the number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19, in the wake of the vaccination of over 70 percent of the total population of the bloc. Half of the population of the European Union has also received the booster dose. 

The EU will soon adopt a draft document that outlines the shift in the bloc’s approach from emergency mode to a more sustainable mode of managing the pandemic in the coming months with a clear warning that COVID-19 is here to stay with likely emergence of new variants. The bloc, therefore, plans to focus on vigilance and preparedness. 

The EU’s draft document focuses on vigilance and preparedness and recommends EU governments keep up their guard and be ready to return to emergency measures if needed in case of new surges. The document has been prepared by EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides.

Pandemic not over, warns WHO

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the pandemic is far from over, calling for countries to maintain surveillance. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing recently, “COVID19 cases & deaths continue to decline, which is very good news. However, reduced testing in many countries makes us blind to patterns of transmission & evolution. When it comes to a deadly virus, ignorance is not bliss.”

The WHO chief noted that “it will take all countries, regardless of income level, to commit to steps that can bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end, end inequities, save lives, prevent suffering, and help get economies back on track.”

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