Last Updated on September 16, 2022
The government of Denmark has advised healthy citizens under 50 to forgo COVID-19 vaccine boosters, the Danish Health Authority announced this week. Authorities cited lower risk of extreme illness or death among this age range in making the decision.
In statement, the government plainly stated that COVID-19 vaccines do not halt the spread of the virus. “The purpose of vaccination is not to prevent infection with COVID-19, and people aged under 50 are therefore currently not being offered booster vaccination,” the Danish Health Authority wrote in a September 13 statement.
Health authorities will focus on the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems, who are at the greatest risk of serious illness or death. These populations will still be eligible to receive boosters.
The agency has a has an “aim to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death,” the statement continued. In addition, the Health Authority noted that individuals under the age of 50 “are generally not at particularly higher risk of becoming severely ill” from COVID-19.
Younger people “are well protected against becoming severely ill” and a “very large number of them have already been vaccinated and have previously been infected,” the statement continued.
“There is consequently good immunity among this part of the population,” the agency said. “It is important that the population also remembers the guidance on how to prevent the spread of infection, including staying at home in case of illness, frequent aeration or ventilation, social distancing, good coughing etiquette, hand hygiene, and cleaning.”
Denmark was one of the world’s first countries to discontinue its COVID-19 booster program for young children. “The Danish Health Authority does not currently plan on recommending vaccination to persons under the age of 18 as a group,” Lotte Baelum, a spokesperson for the Health Authority, told The Associated Press. “Children and young people who are at increased risk of a serious course of COVID-19 will continue to have the option of vaccination after individual assessment.”
A number of countries have also opted not to offer the vaccine or booster shots to young children, including the U.K. and Sweden. In the United States, the CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination and booster shots for young children between the ages of six months and five years.
Children are at a far lower risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19. 50 percent of children under the age of 12 will not even exhibit symptoms when infected, according to the Mayo Clinic.