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Fact Check-Headline that claims Denmark has banned COVID-19 vaccines for children is misleading

Some social media users have shared an article with a misleading headline that claims Denmark has banned the COVID-19 vaccine for children. It is true Denmark has decided not to offer a primary COVID-19 vaccine to children aged between five and 17 years in the upcoming winter season, but it has not introduced an outright ban.

The article, which sits behind a paywall, is headlined: “Denmark bans COVID vaccine for children” (here).

It has been widely shared on Twitter and Facebook, where users have suggested the alleged ban is evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous.

“For many kids too late and why now, suddenly? Everyone knew long ago,” one person wrote in the comments section of a Facebook post (here ).

Other iterations can be found here , here , here and here, as well as here and here, where people shared the headline without the article.

The reference to a ban is misleading. In June, the Danish government said it had completed its seasonal vaccination programme and had decided to make some changes to the upcoming autumn/winter season.

“From 1 July, 2022, it will no longer be possible for children and youngsters under the age of 18 to receive the 1st jab, and from 1 September, 2022, it will no longer be possible to receive the 2nd jab,” the Danish Health Authority said. The change was because children and young people rarely suffer severe outcomes of the Omicron variant, it said.

The authority said that some children with an increased risk would still be eligible for vaccination, after an assessment from a doctor (here).

When contacted by Reuters, the Danish Health Authority pointed to further guidance on the autumn/winter seasonal plan for vaccination roll-outs and highlighted one quote that said: “Children and adolescents only very rarely have a serious course of illness due to COVID-19 with the Omicron variant, which is why the offer of primary vaccination for children between five and 17 years will not be a general offer, but can be given after a specific medical assessment” (here).

VERDICT

Missing context. Denmark has not introduced an outright ban on COVID-19 vaccines for children. While the rollout is being scaled back for the majority of children, vaccines will be available for those at higher risk of severe COVID-19.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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