COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 can now be prevented by vaccination.

We have been following the development of the upcoming vaccines against COVID-19 since the spring of 2020. 

There are currently three main types of COVID-19 vaccines, of which the mRNA vaccine is the only one that is approved - and currently in use in Denmark.

Below is a description of how the different types of vaccine work so that our immune system can recognize and protect us from Sars-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19. T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes are the cells used by the immune system to fight viruses. 

COVID-19 is potentially a serious disease and vaccination is far preferable even if you are young. The mortality rate for COVID-19 is approx. 0.75% for DK. It is 1 in every 133 infected (large age gradient). But even for 35-44 year olds, there is a 1.5 x annual increased risk of dying from COVID-19. Small risk in absolute terms, but high relatively speaking.

In addition, new infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2 suggest that we should have immunized a very high proportion of the population (+ 80%) before society can fully reopen - especially in winter.

It is still uncertain whether there will be a requirement for vaccination before travel - as is the case with PCR tests for certain destinations. For PCR read: Here

mRNA Vaccines

Contains material from the virus that causes COVID-19, which gives our cells instructions on how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. Once our cells have made copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, remembering how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we become infected.

Vaccines purchased for Denmark based on this technique:

Vector Vaccines

Contains an attenuated version of a live virus - just another virus (adenovirus) other than the one that causes COVID-19 - but which has genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19 inserted into it (this is called a viral vector). Once the viral vector is inside our cells, the genetic material instructs cells to produce a protein unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Using these instructions, our cells make copies of the protein. The immune system then produces so-called T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes, which remember how to fight that virus if we become infected in the future.

Vaccines purchased for Denmark based on this technique:

Protein Subunit Vaccines / Recombinant Protein Vaccines

Contains harmless parts (proteins) of the virus that cause COVID-19 instead of the whole virus. Once we are vaccinated, our immune system detects that the proteins do not belong in the body and begins to produce T lymphocytes and antibodies. If we get infected with Sars-Cov-2, the memory cells will recognize and fight the virus.

Vaccines purchased for Denmark based on this technique:

  • GSK / Sanofi (delayed)

So far, no serious side effects have been reported with the mRNA vaccines in the groups chosen to be included in the trials. More frequent allergies to the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine have been observed. Allergies can be seen after vaccination, and with proper and prompt action, this can be treated quickly. Both vaccines lack to some extent data for protection as well as side effects in the elderly> 70 years, for immunocompromised and people with certain diseases. 

Figures show that so far allergies have been registered in 0.002% of those vaccinated (usually 1: 1000000) - this should be kept up to 1-2% of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 who will experience long-term side effects of the disease itself. Read more: Here 

In Denmark, figures show that up to 8 / 100,000 have had severe allergies to the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine. Read more: Here

The most common side effects can be found here in the table - note that those who were treated with saline (placebo) as a control group also experienced side effects. Compare yourself: Here

The vaccines should be given twice at 3 week intervals: Pfizer / BioNtech and 4 weeks apart: Remaining. 

It is still unclear how long the coverage will last.

The effect of vaccination is well illustrated by the figure below - the red curve shows the infection among the unvaccinated, the blue among the vaccinated: