The Dutch vaccination program is rapidly gaining momentum. More than 15 million shots have already been administered. This rapid rise is partially thanks to an overwhelming willingness to be vaccinated.
It’s no secret, the Netherlands was slow off the ground with the vaccination program. However, RTL Nieuws reports that vaccine willingness is now much higher in the Netherlands than it is in the rest of the world — say whaaattt?
Yep, it’s true. Currently, 287 people are being administered a coronavirus jab every minute and the country is enjoying the results. Everyday life in the Netherlands has turned around in the past few weeks — think going shopping without a face mask to dancing in clubs.
People’s reasons for being vaccinated vary, but the most common are personal health concerns as well as being able to travel and go out with friends again. According to virologist Ger Rijkers, the most important thing is that people are vaccinated, this brings the Netherlands closer to herd immunity.
However, don’t grab the party poppers just yet — virologists warn that reluctance in other countries could lead to even more new variants.
What will it take to get the virus under control?
Rijkers says that “to really get the virus under control, we need to reach a vaccination rate of around 80 percent worldwide.” This is essential in order to provide a barrier against the emergence of highly contagious new variants.
While countries such as the United States and Israel started their vaccination campaigns very energetically, the graph below illustrates that they have now noticeably tapered off. The reason for this is not a shortage of vaccines but a reluctance to be vaccinated.
According to Rijkers, this unwillingness to be vaccinated is worrying, given the emergence of new variants “which turn out to be increasingly contagious.”
Meanwhile, the graph shows that vaccination rates in the Netherlands are shooting quite sharply — needle sharp you could say.
Reluctance in other countries
This enthusiasm for the vaccine is unfortunately not matched in other influential countries, such as the United States, France and Australia. The graph below shows that in these countries, up to 30% of the population are opposed to being vaccinated against coronavirus.
Meanwhile, in the United States and France an additional 11% of the population still have their doubts. In Australia, 30% of the population are outright opposed to getting the vaccine while 20% still have their doubts — meaning that only half of the population are convinced by the importance of immunity against the virus.
We are all connected
Rijkers tells us that even though we currently have lots to celebrate in the Netherlands, we still “depend on the situation in the rest of the world.” If not enough vaccines are administered globally, we risk the emergence of new mutations which are “not only more contagious, but also a lot stronger.”
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