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Parliamentary questions
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17 November 2020
Priority question for written answer  P-006241/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Asger Christensen (Renew), Morten Løkkegaard (Renew), Søren Gade (Renew)
 Subject: Occurrence of new mink variants of COVID-19 in Denmark

In Denmark, COVID-19 outbreaks on at least 216 mink farms have been recorded. The Danish health authorities have found new mink variants of COVID-19 in a number of infected persons. One such variant is designated ‘cluster 5’. According to Danish health authorities, the existence of ‘cluster 5’ may mean that a prospective COVID-19 vaccine will be less efficacious, as it may potentially reduce the effect of antibodies. On 4 November 2020, accordingly, the Danish Government decided that all mink herds in Denmark should be culled.

1. Is the Commission aware of the occurrence of new mink variants of COVID-19 in Denmark, and is it also the Commission’s judgement that the ‘cluster 5’ mutation may make a prospective COVID-19 vaccine less efficacious? If it is, what is the scientific basis for that judgement?

2. Will there be EU-level follow-up studies on the ‘cluster 5’ and other mink variants of COVID-19 so as to verify the Danish health authorities’ scientific evidence?

3. Lastly, is the Commission aware of similar drastic measures taken by other EU Member States?

Original language of question: DA
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