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Denmark didn’t ‘ban’ COVID-19 vaccines for children

August 18, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Denmark has banned COVID-19 vaccines for children.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The Danish Health Authority will no longer recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for those under the age of 18, but it hasn’t placed an overall ban on the shots for that age group. Children and youths who are at risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19 can still receive the vaccine in Denmark if recommended by a doctor, the agency said.

THE FACTS: Social media users are misrepresenting changes to the Danish Health Authority’s fall and winter vaccine program for those under 18 as a “ban.”

“Denmark coming clean that kids shouldn’t be vaccinated with a TOTAL BAN on Covid vax for kids,” a Twitter user falsely claimed.

But Denmark’s guidance around COVID-19 vaccines for the fall and winter for children is only being modified.

The agency’s vaccine program states that since children and young people “very rarely become seriously ill” from the COVID-19 omicron variant, from July 1, those under the age of 18 will no longer receive the first dose. Starting Sept. 1, youths will no longer get the second dose although those who are at risk of developing serious illness can still get the vaccine after a medical assessment.

“The Danish Health Authority does not currently plan on recommending vaccination to persons under the age of 18 as a group,” Lotte Bælum, a spokesperson for the agency, told The Associated Press in an email. “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.”

The country will begin the fall and winter COVID-19 vaccination program in October.

Around 81% of Denmark’s population of 5.8 million has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 62% have received a booster, according to the Danish Ministry of Health.

In April, The Associated Press reported that due to Denmark’s high vaccine coverage, the country was ending broad vaccination efforts, but people over the age of 50 or older will receive invitations to receive a vaccine.

The Danish Health Authority still recommends that people who are completely unvaccinated still receive primary vaccination.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.