Corona Round-Up: Crucial Johnson & Johnson decision next week could make or break our summer

Meanwhile, ongoing negotiations today could bring forward government’s plans to lift certain restrictions

There will be no announcement concerning the future of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine this week, Magnus Heunicke, the health minister, has confirmed.

Since its suspension in early April, the timetable to get the nation vaccinated has been in disarray. Should it be discarded like AstraZeneca, it could be a long wait for full coverage.

“Hopefully next week we will have a message from the health authorities about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” he said.

“It will mean we will be able to put together with more certainty a vaccine calendar, which we can then use to see exactly how quickly society can be reopened.”

Blue bloc leader has his fingers crossed
Ahead of cross-party reopening negotiations today, Konservative leader Søren Pape Poulsen upped the ante by saying he would take the J&J vaccine tomorrow if it was offered to him.

Theoretically, he would take the jab, even if the health authorities advised against it. 

“Should the Americans, the Danish Medicines Agency and European Medicines Agency approve it, I would have a hard time understanding why we cannot approve it,” he told DR.

“If the vaccine ends up being approved everywhere else but Denmark, I would have to take a huge breath and sigh.”

Restrictions at prisons to be phased out over three stages by May 24
COVID-19 restrictions being phased out at the nation’s prisons over three stages, it has been confirmed. The Danish Prison and Probation Service took an initial step on April 26, with more expected to be phased out on May 10 and 24. Since April 26, prisoners can again be visited by external partners in connection with resocialising efforts, while all substance abuse treatment and program activities, as well as exit interviews, can be carried out in person.

SSI criticised for way it allowed personal data to be used last spring
The Danish Data Protection Agency has criticised Statens Serum Institut for the way it allowed personal data to be assessed in February and March 2020, as cases of COVID-19 escalated, without a sufficient risk assessment. It gave an expert group special access to the date to enable it to predict possible scenarios for a reopening, but this involved using a uncertain IT solution. 

Infection numbers slightly down on yesterday’s total
Some 769 people have been infected with corona over the last 24 hours – a slight dip on the figures announced yesterday. Two more people have died, according to Statens Serum Institu, and there are currently 173 people infected with corona in Danish hospitals – eight fewer than yesterday.  Of those, 30 are in intensive care, of whom 18 are on ventilators.

Venstre calls upon earlier lifting of restrictions ahead of negotiations
Venstre leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen has called upon the government to fast-track the reopening plans. He would like to see Phase 4 commence on May 21 instead of May 6. “We are in a favourable situation, and we should be happy,” he said. But we must also react to what’s going on and not pretend that our reality is any different from what it is.” Negotiations concerning the reopening timeframe are ongoing today, with a return of all school-children and indoor sports for adults high on the agenda.

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