Vaccinating against Covid-19: how is it going in The Netherlands?
One year ago, the Netherlands was struck by the coronavirus. Where many people first hoped it would pass promptly, it turned out to be a persistent pandemic. More than a year later, vaccinations against the threatening virus are taking place all over the world. The first injections were now also made in the Netherlands. How is vaccination going in the Netherlands, which vaccines does the country use, and when will everybody be vaccinated?
Vaccination so far
The Netherlands started vaccinating in January 2021, making it one of the last countries in Europe to start the vaccination program. In the Netherlands, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) is responsible for the vaccination strategy, storage and distribution, communication to professionals, vaccination registration and privacy. On April 12, 2021, more than 3 million Dutch people received a vaccine. On April 6, 2021, 76 percent of the Dutch indicated that they wanted to receive a vaccine against Covid-19. Willingness to vaccinate has increased significantly in recent months.
The Netherlands uses vaccines from BioNTech / Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. Due to additional research into possible side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine, it currently is only being used on people born in 1961 or earlier. Following a re-evaluation by the European Medicine Association (EMA), the vaccination of younger groups with the AstraZeneca vaccine may be resumed. The vaccines are inserted in various places: at the GGD, hospitals, long-term care institutions, and GP-practices.
It is difficult to say when everyone will be vaccinated. The initial forecast was that by the summer of 2021, anyone (who wants this) would have been vaccinated. Delivery problems and the reassessment of the AstraZeneca vaccine are putting this schedule under pressure. At the moment, every 0.9 seconds someone in the Netherlands is receiving a corona vaccine.
An apparent decrease in infections and hospital admissions is seen in the groups that received a vaccine. This is encouraging and shows that the vaccine is very effective. It is not known when the Netherlands can cut back on measurements.
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