As it looks like international travel will require booster shots going into the new year — the public health service of the Netherlands (GGD) is stepping up its game.
The GGD plans to guarantee booster shots to all those who want it by mid-March, a little late for anyone with travel plans in February, no? However, this is a big move.
In order to meet this mid-March deadline, the GGD will have to go from “150,000 to 700,000” vaccinations per week in a matter of just fourteen days, COVID-19 program director of the GGD, Jaap Eikelboom, tells de Telegraaf.
The dutch government has received its fair share of criticism for its uncharacteristically disorganised leadership amidst the pandemic, oscillating from discouraging the use of masks to imposing air-tight lockdowns. The booster shot rollout has been no different.
However, it looks like things are about to change for the better (finally.)The Red Cross, employment agencies and Defense have stepped in pledging to expand the number of GGD locations from 83 to 90.
This move will hopefully help speed up the booster shot campaign — at least for those who are willing to receive one. (Fun fact: one of the nominees for Dutch word of the year is prikspijt — yep, that’s a thing now.)
Why do we have to wait until March?
Due to a comparatively slow start to the booster shot campaign, a mere 5% of the Dutch population have received their third jab. Currently, only individuals born between 1956 and 1957 are eligible for booster shots.
Today, the Netherlands has one of the highest rates of daily infections, with 104 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. All the while, the booster shot rollout has been painfully slow, landing the Netherlands at one of the lowest positions on a ranking of all EU states.
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