The Danish Health Authority (SST) recommends Covid-19 vaccination for children aged five to 11 as a “crucial weapon in keeping society open.”
“We have seen an increase in infection rate among children. This is due to both the Delta variant of Covid-19 and the more open society that we have entered during the autumn,” Xinhua news agency quoted Helene Probst, deputy director of the SST, as saying.
The recommendation comes after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recently recommended the use of the Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty from Pfizer/BioNTech for children between five and 11 years of age.
The vaccination of children, which Probst said remains “voluntary,” could begin as early as Sunday in Denmark.
At the same event, Tyra Grove Krause, acting academic director of the Statens Serum Institut (SSI), called for restrictions on entry into Denmark after Belgium reported the first case of a new Covid variant currently dubbed as B.1.1.529, which was first discovered in South Africa.
According to Krause, the heavily mutated new variant is feared to prove to be resistant to current vaccines and therefore spread far easier.
“It has spread in South Africa, and in many regions where it has been found there has been a large increase in infections,” Krause said, adding that the SSI has proposed the tightening of travel restrictions to and from South Africa and six countries bordering it.
In a statement, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has urged the European Union (EU) member states to suspend flight services to countries where the new virus variant has been detected.
“All air travel to these countries should be suspended until we have a clear understanding about the danger posed by this new variant,” she said on Friday.
The SSI has registered 4,076 new Covid-19 infections and nine new deaths, bringing the national totals to 470,893 cases and 2,850 deaths.
According to SSI data, 77.5 per cent of the country’s population, or 4,553,329 people, have already started the process of vaccination. Of them, 4,447,093 people or 75.7 per cent have been fully vaccinated.