COVID-19 vaccination programme

COVID-19 vaccines work by boosting the body’s ability to recognise and fight the coronavirus.

All people registered as residing in Greenland and who are aged 12 years or older, including pregnant women and women who are breast feeding, are eligible for vaccination against COVID-19. The vaccine is free and voluntary.

Coronavirus/(SARS-CoV-2) is a new infectious virus. This means we do not have immunity that can protect us against infection and illness. For some people, becoming infected with the coronavirus leads to serious illness or death.

The vaccines that are used in Greenland are called RNA vaccines. RNA is a signal recognition particle in the body’s cells, and it contains “codes” for the formation of proteins. The RNA vaccine works by containing a specific code that allows your cells to produce a protein. Once the protein has been made by your cells, it will stimulate your immune system to make antibodies and thus prevent you from becoming sick if you are infected by the coronavirus.

This means that once you are vaccinated, your immune system will become activated and make antibodies that attack the coronavirus. If you are subsequently infected by the coronavirus, your immune system will quickly recognise the virus and be better able to fight the virus so that there is very little risk of serious illness developing.

A vaccine protects you from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. By getting vaccinated you will also help society to reduce the risk of the virus spreading among people. It is crucial that as many people as possible get vaccinated to avoid the virus from spreading.

None of the vaccines that are used in Greenland contain the coronavirus and they do not affect your DNA.

Little is known as yet as to whether you can pass on the infection even though you are vaccinated. Even if you are vaccinated it is therefore important that you still follow the general recommendations about keeping to a distance from other people and maintaining good hygiene so that you avoid the coronavirus spreading to other people.

The vaccines Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) have both been approved by the EU. They have undergone a thorough approval process.

The vaccines lower the risk of people becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.

There is no documentation showing how long the vaccine’s protection lasts.

In Greenland, it is the vaccine from Moderna that is primarily used. This is because handling and transporting the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is complex, since it must be stored at between -70 °C and -80 °C. The vaccine is therefore only available in those locations where it is possible to handle it under the optimal conditions. Handling and storing the Moderna vaccine is easier.

About the Moderna vaccine
At the present time in Greenland, we primarily use the Moderna® COVID-19 vaccine, which has to be given twice for maximum effect. The two doses should be given about 4–6 weeks apart. The second dose can be given at the earliest 28 days after the first dose. It is important that the second dose is given so that the vaccine also provides protection against newer variants of the virus.

The Moderna vaccine is also used in Denmark. It has been developed by the American company Moderna and is produced at factories in Switzerland and Spain.

Like the Comirnaty® mRNA vaccine, the Moderna® vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, and the two vaccines are very similar in relation to effect and safety. The Moderna® vaccine has an efficacy of 94% after the two doses have been given. Learn more here: How well do vaccines protect? (The link goes to sst.dk).

The vaccine is approved for use in persons who are 12 years old or older, elderly people, pregnant women and women who are breast feeding.

About Comirnaty® (Pfizer-BioNTech)
Comirnaty® was the first vaccine to be approved for use against COVID-19. It was developed by the German company BioNTech in collaboration with the American company Pfizer. Greenland’s supplies of Comirnaty® are produced in factories in Germany and Belgium.

Comirnaty® is an mRNA vaccine and approved for use in persons who are 12 years old or older, elderly people, pregnant women and women who are breast feeding.

Comirnaty® has an efficacy of 95%. Learn more here: How well do vaccines protect? (The link goes to sst.dk)

People registered as residing in Greenland and who are aged 12 years or older are eligible for vaccination against COVID-19.

Pregnant women and women who are breast feeding are also eligible.

Greenland receives the vaccines on an ongoing basis and the vaccines are used as soon as they are received. The public authorities will announce when the vaccine is available in your town/settlement.

Both Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech) and Moderna® must be given as two doses to get the full benefits from the vaccine.

Comirnaty® (Pfizer/BioNtech) must be given as two doses, the second dose given at the earliest, 21 days after the first dose.

COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® must be given as two doses, the second dose given at the earliest, 28 days after the first dose.

Most people will be well protected shortly after their second dose of the vaccine. According to the product summary for Comirnaty®, protection is already achieved after seven days. With COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna®, protection is achieved after 14 days.

Most of the vaccines do not provide complete protection or protect everyone from the disease. This means that a few individuals can be infected with COVID-19 even though they are vaccinated. But vaccination against COVID-19 will protect most people. It is not known how long this immunity lasts for.

If you forgot to get the second dose, you must get it as soon as possible. However, you never start again with the first vaccination.

If you received two different kinds of COVID-19 vaccines that use antigen, then you are considered fully vaccinated. So, individuals are considered fully vaccinated if they unintentionally mixed their vaccines, e.g. their first dose was Comirnaty® and their second dose was COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna®, or vice versa.

Yes. Individuals who have already had COVID-19 are still offered vaccination. This is because experts do not know how many protective antibodies are produced from having a COVID-19 infection. However, the vaccination should only be given after the individual is well again. Individuals who have symptoms and asymptomatic individuals must follow the guidelines given below.

  • Previously shown to have been infected with COVID-19:The vaccination can be given at the earliest one month after the illness has passed and thereafter as quickly as possible.
  • Confirmed infected with COVID-19:The vaccination can be given at the earliest one month after the illness has passed and thereafter as quickly as possible.

  • Very recently in close contact with someone with COVID-19 (waiting on the test result):The vaccination will be postponed until the individual has received their test result. If the test result is negative and the individual is asymptomatic, the vaccination can be given. If the individual experiences symptoms and/or tests positive, the vaccination should be delayed for one month until the illness has passed and then given as quickly as possible.