In July, the Dutch government announced that another round of coronavirus vaccinations would take place in the Netherlands this autumn. Here’s everything you need to know 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 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 (i.e. the dominant Omicron variant).
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?
The first invitations went out on September 13, with the municipal health services (GGD) giving priority to those over the age of 60. From the beginning of October, appointments will open up to 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.
The first vaccinations will take place on September 19 - although you'll only be able to receive the jab if your last dose was administered more than three months ago, or if you haven't tested positive for COVID-19 in the last three months.
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.