Denmark Ditches Vaccine Pass & Restrictions: No Longer Considers COVID A Critical Threat To Society

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In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • Denmark will remove remaining COVID measures, including vaccine passports, but will keep border controls in place.

    • The Danish government feels the country's epidemic is "under control" and no longer a critical threat.

    • They also claim they will act quickly and re-introduce measures if needed.

  • Reflect On:
    • Can the lockdown or no lockdown approaches produce the same results in different countries? Or are other factors like population density important to consider?

    • Have we assessed the costs of lockdowns and choosing not to live life to the fullest?

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How big of a threat is COVID? Denmark feels it’s minimal, stating that COVID is ‘no longer a critical threat to society.’

Starting tomorrow, Denmark will lift all restrictions, including the “vaccine passport” which was previously required in the country to access non-essential spaces. They were in fact one of the first countries in Europe to implement the vaccine pass, but citizens always had a choice to submit a negative COVID test if they did not want to take the vaccine.

According to a publication by Svenska Dagbladet, a daily newspaper in Sweden,

It seems like an upside-down world all of a sudden: that the Danes, who at the start of the pandemic gave Swedish travellers the cold shoulder on the Öresund bridge and told them to turn back because Swedish Covid restrictions were too mild, are now letting go of the reins altogether.

According to Lone Simonsen, a Professor of Epidemiology at Roskilde University in Denmark,

The Swedes were on the right track earlier in the pandemic. Anders Tegnell (Sweden’s public health Epidemiologist) said, “we’ll keep the schools open, we must be careful not to shut down society” and then managed to keep the epidemic under control throughout the summer of 2020. It’s a story that isn’t told often enough… We were really jealous here in Denmark, as we were stuck at home more. 

Earlier on in the pandemic, especially during the first wave, Sweden was heavily criticized for their no mask mandate and non lockdown approach, and it wasn’t easy for many of the countries leading academics either. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, quit his work on COVID because of harassment from people who dislike what he discovered. He showed that zero school children died from COVID during the first wave despite no mask mandate, school closures, or lockdowns.

Renowned Swedish Epidemiologists Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson went through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID.

Sweden’s health policy closely follows the focused protection approach put forth by the The Great Barrington Declaration. It urges younger and healthier individuals to continue life as is, while suggesting protective measures to those most vulnerable to the virus – the elderly, immunocompromised and so forth. This means simple suggestions like social distancing are in place, but harsh lockdowns and shutting down of society are left behind.

All of Denmark’s national COVID rules (with the exception of its entry restrictions) were legally underpinned by a classification of the coronavirus as a “critical threat to society.” This is no longer the case according to the government.

According to data from Statistica, Sweden’s neighbouring countries all saw significantly lower death rates from COVID compared to Sweden regardless of having smaller populations. This does not take into consideration things like population density, the damages lockdowns might have caused, or the fact that life was not being lived as fully.

Sweden 1,429 deaths per million. (Population 10.23 million)

Denmark 446 deaths per million. (Population 5.8 million.)

Finland 188 deaths per million. (Population 5.5 million.)

Norway 154 deaths per million. (Population 5.3 million.)

That said, there are many issues with COVID data including unreliable PCR testing, no clear and consistent guidelines with regards to confirming deaths, and a lack of consideration for how many millions of people have had COVID, were not tested and id not go to hospital. All of these factors would likely make this pandemic look less serious as currently we are only working within confirmed cases.

Is Denmark’s new approach a result of the fact that over 71% of the Danish population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19? We can’t say for sure, there are many other factors that have been overlooked including the science regarding the power of natural immunity.

According to Dr. Steven Pelech, a medical professor at the University of British Columbia,

Unlike many traditional vaccines, the currently available COVID-19 vaccines with their waning efficacy do not provide “sterilizing immunity”. This type of vaccine is also called “leaky”, because it cannot prevent infection with the target virus. Vaccinated persons can still carry and transmit SARS-CoV-2, just like the unvaccinated…A person’s COVID-19 vaccination may protect them, but does not substantially impact the health of any other person around them.

Consequently, asking for someone’s vaccination status, or mandating vaccines, is based on flawed logic. Mandating vaccines for healthy youth and the working-age population is particularly misguided, given the low to non-existing threat of serious COVID-19 and the potential for vaccine injury. The nature of these vaccines provides no rational basis for restrictions of bodily autonomy, medical privacy, or other civil rights. The vaccines should be reserved for those elderly and vulnerable individuals who choose to take them.

According to the Danish government, “Even though we are in a good place right now, we are not out of the epidemic,” promising the administration would “not hesitate to act quickly” if needed.

It should be noted that Denmark’s high numbers of vaccinated citizens do not include children under the age of 12. Infection rates are soaring in that demographic, but Danish health authorities have concluded that this will rarely result in serious illness or death.

Interestingly, in 2020 while Sweden kept their society open, neighbouring countries Norway, Denmark, and Finland all locked down. Regardless, according to the The World Happiness Report, a survey that attempts to measure global happiness based on how happy citizens perceive themselves to be, each of the countries remained tight to one another in rating. Finland the happiest, followed by Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.

The measurement of subjective well-being relies on three main indicators: life evaluations, positive emotions, and negative emotions.

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