Last month, the Dutch government announced that another round of coronavirus vaccinations would take place in the Netherlands this autumn. Here’s everything we know so far about the next round of boosters.
What’s happening with coronavirus vaccinations in the Netherlands?
Everyone over the age of 12 living in the Netherlands will soon be invited to receive (another) booster jab in order to better protect them from COVID-19. This means that approximately 13 million people will be eligible to receive another dose of either the new Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna vaccine that has been modified to also protect against new variants of the virus.
Many have already received at least one booster jab. The next round of vaccinations marks the third booster invite for those aged 60 and above, and the second invite for other age groups.
When will I get my booster invitation?
While an exact date is yet to be announced, vaccinations are set to start from the second half of September, with the first invitations being issued to those over the age of 60, those under the age of 60 who are considered vulnerable, and those working in healthcare.
Once members of the priority groups have been given the chance to book an appointment, appointments will open to all age groups. Unlike in previous rounds, birth year will no longer determine when you’ll be able to book your appointment.
Health Minister Ernst Kuipers and the European Medicine Agency (EMA) hope to approve the new vaccines in early September. If this doesn’t happen on time, the next round of boost vaccinations will go ahead with the current vaccines.
Where will the vaccinations take place?
Once again, there will be some mobile vaccination units travelling through a number of Dutch cities and towns, but the majority of vaccinations will be carried out at one of the 84 so-called priklocaties set up by the GGD.
Why is the Dutch government organising another round of boosters?
With the final coronavirus restrictions having been lifted back in March, many may be wondering why the government is going through the effort of organising another round of vaccinations.
Various medical experts – including the chairman of the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), Jaap van Dissel – advised Kuipers that another coronavirus wave should be expected in the autumn, and that another round of booster vaccinations will help to ensure fewer people become ill as the weather turns colder and that not too many people become infected at the same time.
A number of doctors have spoken out in support of the government’s plan, praising Kuipers for taking action early enough to prevent a significant spike in infections. “If the vaccination campaign had started faster last winter, it could have saved us a lot of misery,” epidemiologist Alma Tostmann, who works at a hospital in Nijmegen, told NOS.