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Denmark ’in dialogue’ over swap for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines

Denmark is in discussions with a number of countries over exchanging its shelved Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca.

Denmark ’in dialogue’ over swap for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines
Health miniseasing of Covid-19 rester Magnus Heunicke. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

Health minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed that discussions were taking place on Monday.

“Here and now, we still need safe and approved vaccines. That is Pfizer and Moderna at this time,” Heunicke said.

“If we can arrange a swap deal with other countries whereby we send AstraZeneca vaccines to them and we get some of their Pfizer vaccines, that would naturally be interesting,” he added.

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The minister said that “the sooner we can get the population vaccinated, the faster we can lift Denmark out of the pandemic”.

He did not reveal the identity of the countries with which Denmark is in discussion.

“It is too early to say whether we will be successful but it would certainly be of great interest for us,” Heunicke said.

No lack of interest has been shown in acquiring the Danish vaccines, according to the minister.

“As there are many countries around us which have an epidemic on a completely different level to Denmark,” he said.

Last week, Denmark said it would stop using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in its national inoculation programme, becoming the first European country to do so over suspected rare but serious side effects.

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COVID-19

New Covid-19 wave in Sweden ‘to peak at end of September’

Sweden's Public Health Agency has warned of a new autumn wave of Covid-19 which it expects to peak at the end of September.

New Covid-19 wave in Sweden 'to peak at end of September'

According to both of the two new scenarios published by the agency on Monday, infection rates are set to rise steadily over the next month, something the agency said was due to a falling immunity in the population and greater contact between people as they return to schools and workplaces after the summer. 

“It is difficult to say how high the peak will be, but it is unlikely that it will reach the same levels as in January and February,” the agency’s unit chief Sara Byfors said in a press release. “The most important thing is that people in risk groups and those who are 65 years old and above get vaccinated with a booster dose in the autumn to reduce the risk of serious illness and death.” 

Under Scenario 0, the amount of contact between people stays at current levels, leading to a peak in reported Covid-19 cases at around 5,000 a day. In Scenario 1, contact between people increases by about 10 percent from the middle of August, leading to a higher peak of about 7,000 reported cases a day. 

The agency said that employers should be prepared for many staff to be off sick simultaneously at points over the next month, but said in its release that it did not judge the situation to be sufficiently serious to require either it or the government to impose additional infection control measures. 

It was important, however, it said, that those managing health and elderly care continued to test those with symptoms and to track the chain of infections, that people go and get the booster doses when they are supposed to have under the vaccination programme, and that those who have symptoms of Covid-19 stay home. 

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