Health

Denmark loans 55,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to neighbouring German state

Denmark says it will loan 55,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to neighbouring Germany.

The Danish Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement that the unwanted vaccines would be donated to the German border state of Schleswig-Holstein.

“Following a request from the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, the government has decided to make 55,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine available to the border region,” the ministry said.

“The vaccine doses will be returned after an agreed timeframe,” the statement added.

Denmark was the first European country to announce that it was abandoning AstraZeneca’s jab (Vaxzevria) over concerns of “rare” but “serious” side effects.

Norway’s Public Health Institute also recommended against further use of the jab, despite recommendations by the European Medicines Agency and World Health Organization (WHO).

Denmark’s health authority has continued the rollout of the vaccines using other jabs developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

But Denmark has indicated that it may reintroduce the AstraZeneca vaccine at a later date “if the situation changes”. The country has an estimated stockpile of 200,000 doses of Vaxzevria.