Denmark drops Johnson & Johnson from Covid vaccination programme

WION Web Team
Copenhagen, Denmark Published: May 03, 2021, 08:02 PM(IST)

A vial of the Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen at Northwell Health's South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York, US, March 3, 2021 Photograph:( Reuters )

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Denmark aims to start local production of coronavirus vaccines in 2022, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said, after previously expressing concern over the European Union's handling of vaccine procurement

Denmark said Monday it would not include the Covid-19 vaccine from US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson in its national vaccination campaign, citing worries over serious side effects involving blood clots.

"The Danish Health Authority has concluded that the benefits of using the Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson do not outweigh the risk of causing the possible adverse effect... in those who receive the vaccine," the authority said in a statement.

"Therefore, the Danish Health Authority will continue the Danish mass vaccination programme against Covid-19 without the Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson," it added. The WHO and European medicines watchdog have both authorised the vaccine. 

Denmark aims to start local production of coronavirus vaccines in 2022, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said, after previously expressing concern over the European Union's handling of vaccine procurement.

A new plant to produce vaccines will be owned and operated by the private sector and a tendering process and will be announced in a few weeks, she told Danish media late on Monday.

"We would like to ensure greater security of vaccine supplies on Danish soil," Frederiksen said. "We see vaccines as part of Denmark's overall preparedness and thus as critical infrastructure."

Frederiksen has been critical of the EU's approach to ordering, approving and distributing vaccines within the 27 nation bloc. She agreed with Austria and Israel last month to set up a joint research and development fund and possibly production facilities for COVID-19 vaccines to ensure long-term supplies.

Denmark's future plant will manufacture mRNA vaccines, an advanced technology used in the COVID-19 shots produced by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna, Frederiksen said.

She did not quantify the amount of vaccines that will be produced or give any financial detail.

The foundation that controls Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk said last month it was in preliminary talks with the government about establishing local vaccine production.

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