Denmark to produce COVID-19 vaccines in 2022, PM says

Latvia is now vaccinating people over 65 and those with chronic illnesses, but many do not show up when told they will be given AstraZeneca. Denmark this week became the first country to stop using AstraZeneca altogether, as European officials investigate reports of rare blood clots. Many countries have resumed using the shot, with some restricting it to certain age groups, mostly those aged above 50 or above 60. “We queued two and half hours before opening, around 6:30 in the morning, because this is the only way out of this for us,” Riga resident Vladlens Kovalenvs told Reuters at a converted convention centre in they city. ADVERTISEMENT Partly due to hesitancy over AstraZeneca, Latvia has been lagging in vaccination, with only 7.8% of adults getting at least a single dose by Sunday, the worst result in the European Union, according to European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of about 8,000 doses were distributed to seven vaccination centres around the country, to be used over the weekend, in one of the first open-to-all COVID-19 vaccination schemes in the EU. “We had an AstraZeneca surplus and to avoid keeping vaccines in the warehouse we decided to make this walk-in line open to anyone”, said the chief of Latvia’s vaccination programme, Eva Juhnevica. ADVERTISEMENT Latvia and neighbouring Lithuania asked Denmark to sell them its leftover vaccines to speed up their own efforts. In the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, a similar backlog of vaccines was cleared after being offered to the young, who were not expecting to get a shot so early. “People over 65 in Vilnius are extremely reluctant to take AstraZeneca vaccine - so we began giving them Pfizer vaccine, and opened up AstraZeneca vaccination to priority groups containing younger people”, Vilnius mayor Remigijus Simasius told Reuters. “And the vaccination is now going smoothly.”

Denmark aims to start producing coronavirus vaccines in 2022, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said, adding that a tender would be made public in a few weeks.

“As everyone can see, read, feel and hear, we need more vaccines,” Frederiksen told the business daily Borsen late on Monday. “That is why we need to set up production.”

The vaccines will be produced by private companies, she said.

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