Pneumococcal vaccination programme for persons aged 65 years or more and for risk groups

The first phase of the Danish government’s offer of pneumococcal vaccination for nursing home residents and some/special risk groups comes into force today, 22 April

Recently, the parties of the Danish Parliament decided to introduce a new vaccination package. The package is to reduce the number of vulnerable patients affected by other serious infectious diseases than COVID-19. In this way, the package aims to contribute to impeding overheating of Danish healthcare during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Among others, the vaccination package contains an offer of pneumococcal vaccination for people aged 65 years or more and for other special risk groups. The package will be implemented in the course of the next year.

The first phase starts today (22 April)

Today, the first phase of the offer comes into force. The offer comprises:

  • Nursing home residents.
  • People aged 65 years or more with chronic disease.
  • People below 65 years of age with a particularly high risk of serious pneumococcal disease.

Read more about who are covered in EPI-NEWS.

The next phase will start this autumn

The next phase of the new offer will be launched this autumn. As vaccines become available, additional groups will be offered pneumococcal vaccination:

  • Persons who are 65 years of age or more and who do not belong to a medical risk group.
  • Persons who are younger than 65 years of age who belong to a risk group (in addition to those who have a particularly high risk and can already make use of the offer in its initial phase).
“We expect that the vaccination efforts in the autumn may be planned so that the vaccine can be given when people have their seasonal flu shot,”

Section Head Palle Valentiner-Branth, Statens Serum Institut (SSI).

Several other countries, including the US, Germany, England and Wales have similar vaccination offers in place for elderly people. And in the autumn of 2020, a similar programme will be launched in Holland.

Facts about pneumococcal disease

  • Anyone may naturally carry pneumococci in the nasal cavity. Only rarely does that cause any symptoms.
  • More than 95 types of pneumococci exist.
  • Pneumococci are an important cause of invasive pneumococcal disease, comprising sepsis and/or meningitidis, in particular.
  • The presence of pneumococci is the principal cause (20%) of pneumonia in adults.