The Netherlands falls behind as Germany begins to vaccinate against coronavirus over Christmas

The Netherlands is falling behind in the race to vaccinate when compared with its neighbour, Germany. Whilst Germans will begin to receive their vaccinations the day after Christmas, Dutch residents could be waiting a while longer.

Germany began setting up a coronavirus vaccination plan for its residents back in November with the “National Imf Strategy.” However, in the Netherlands, a vaccination plan — if there is any — will not become available to the public until next week.

Dutch hesitance

When speaking with RTL Nieuws, Hanco Jürgens of the German Institute of the University of Amsterdam described the Dutch approach to the vaccination process as more “hesitant.” He went on to say that the difference in timing between the two countries is quite large.

“It will certainly be in order in the Netherlands by March, when mass vaccinations can really take place. But the difference between Germany and the Netherlands at the moment is really a bit unbelievable.”

Mass vaccination centres

As part of the process of getting ready to roll out coronavirus vaccines, Germany developed a plan back in November with a division of tasks between the sixteen federal states. Part of this plan involved the construction of “sixty centers with cooling systems from which the vaccines will be distributed” Jürgens said.

He does not find the prospect of a similar response by the Netherlands to be promising.”It may also be in order in the Netherlands, but we don’t know. I find that worrisome. Especially when we look at how things went with the test streets, for example.”

De Jonge vs Merkel

Jürgen goes on to compare Health Minister Hugo De Jonge and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. De Jonge has emphasised the need to be careful when approaching a plan to vaccinate the Netherlands.

“In the Netherlands, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health and the GGDs say that carefulness is more important than haste. But in Germany, care and haste are almost two sides of the same coin.”

Germany in better shape

With so much uncertainty surrounding when and how exactly the Dutch government will begin its process of vaccination against coronavirus, Jürgens admits that the Netherlands does not fair well in comparison to its German neighbours. “Indeed you can say at the moment that the Germans are in better shape than the Dutch.”

Vaccinations for Dutch residents are expected to begin in January with vulnerable groups expected to be the first recipients. However, whether this is actually plausible is uncertain.

How do you feel about the Dutch approach to vaccinations? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! 

Feature Image: Retha Ferguson/Wikimedia Commons/CC1.0 

Sarah O'Leary
Sarah O'Leary
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


  1. There is an official message from RIMV saying that vaccination will start in the 8th of January. Anyhow I would still like to see the complete schedule for all Dutch residents.

  2. I’m sorry to have to say this but whenever there was a gross display of incompetence it is this! They have been sitting on their hands for months while almost every country possesses one of the most efficient logistics units there are: the military. They could have started erecting emergency field locations months ago and man and protect them. Giving their job real purpose with the best exercise possible: the real deal!


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