Danish Health Minister Demands More Vaccinations to Escape another Lockdown
By Staff, Agencies
Despite having vaccinated 85 percent of its population over the age of 12, Denmark has seen more than 1,000 daily cases of COVID for a week straight, a level unseen in months.
Amid recent developments, which medical professionals called going "in the wrong direction", Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke threatened to re-impose restrictions.
The country, which barely a month ago removed all restrictions, risks new shutdowns if more citizens are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke has warned.
"If we are to keep Denmark open, we must have more people get the vaccine", the health minister said, as quoted by TV2. "We knew there would be an increase this autumn. But it is no secret that that increase has come pretty quickly already in October", Heunicke added.
So far, 75 percent of the Danish population has been vaccinated. Despite the high vaccination rate, however, the number of new cases of infection is rising.
Heunicke emphasized that vaccination must continue to be voluntary, but at the same time warned all those who have opted out that it "no longer works."
Before the COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out, inoculation was highlighted as an effective weapon against the virus and a prerequisite for returning to normalcy. Therefore, Martin Geertsen saw Heunicke's threat as a breach of agreement that high vaccine adherence was tantamount to a farewell to restrictions and lockdowns.
Denmark became one of the first nations in the EU to launch a post-COVID reopening, citing a high vaccination level, as one of the underlying reasons. The last restrictions were shed in September, when coronavirus formally ceased to be a "socially critical disease". Hereby, the government lost legal authority to impose special rules in society, including assembly bans, demand for COVID passports, and mask mandates. If the restrictions are to be re-imposed, it requires COVID-19 to regain its formal status as socially critical.
So far, the nation of 5.8 million has seen 379,000 cases of COVID, with 2,700 deaths.