Strict GGD regulations result in wasted doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the Netherlands

Each vial of the coronavirus vaccine contains six full doses. However, once the doses are taken, a small amount of the vaccine still remains in the vial. Hospital staff use what is leftover and top it up with a small amount from the next vial, allowing for seven doses of the vaccine. However, due to strict regulations, GGD staff may not do so. 

Chair of the National Acute Care Network, Ernest Kuipers, and vaccine coordinator of all hospital pharmacists, Noortje Swart, believe that this sort of waste needs to stop.

Swart explains to AD that “this is standard practice in hospitals and completely safe.” She and Kuipers believe that the GGD should be adopting this practice as well. “We are in a time of crisis so we all have to be in a crisis position. We must not waste any vaccine,” she says.

Strict regulations

However, the umbrella organisation of the GGDs claims that the RIVM and Youth Health Care have strictly forbidden them to mix doses from different vials. “This is very strict protocol and, under strict conditions, it is allowed to hospital pharmacists,” Kim Roetert of the GGD Ghor tells AD.

Inspection spokesperson, Mariël van Dam, elaborates further on the issue: “[mixing] is not allowed, no, because they work according to a guideline from the RIVM. We just have an agreement about this and we cannot make new agreements every week.”

Van Dam also explains that GGD staff do not have the same level of training as hospital staff. “Sifting out of a bottle is only reserved for hospitals because their people work with a certain education and skills.” However, Swart has pointed out that pharmacy staff are ready and willing to help train GGD staff on how to make use of the excess vaccine doses.

What do you think about the GGD’s guidelines? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! 

Feature Image:US DoD/Lisa Ferdinando/Flickr/CC2.0.

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. Well, de Jonge ordered 30 million doses of Janssen Pharmaceutical vaccins, which still have lots of secondary health effects which prohibits it use. (order and upfront payment went out in Juli according EMA) and allready stretched the 5 doses per vial to six…

    Then it went public he only ordered 150.000 BioNTek, which were the first to be aknowledged to be safe and effective in prohibiting severe Covid 19, so instead of ordering more he not reserved half of it to get the second dose booster to 92% effectivity, but said the half vaccination would be good enough to wait 12 weeks, which BioNTek adviced against because not only would the effectivity to 70+% instead of 92%…

    And now he starts another campaign via Influencers to dillute te 5 doses per vial to 7?

    It more and more looks like he wants to ruin the effectivity of BioNTek’s nMRA very safe Vaccin, so the horrible ineffective Astra Zeneca and Janssen Pharmaceutical with their ~60% effectivity which isn’t even enough with 100% of the population vaccinated…

    For “herd immunity” to work in acountry with a biblebelt of anti vaccination sects, this is a criminally risktaking on a allready taken down moraly population of frightened citizens.

    Why doesn’t he go for the Taiwan Approuch, it’s incredible effective, and is also way CHEAPER way, with only 5 death’s on 24 million of people, and their economy is running in the red-zone, TSCM the biggest computer chips manufacturer has even asked ASML the dutch cipsfoundry to help…

    TSCM is the foundry for Foxcon, (also Taiwanese) producing all chips for Apple etc…

    Once we were a economically brilliant guide country, but since the Liberals frauded themselfs into government in 2010 they have managed to drive the knowledge economy into the ground, and now we are reduced to Schlusslicht of Uerope, only Bulgary is a bit worse of…


    Yes, only Bulgaria has a worse trackrecord, compared to the blundering approach of the Dutch failed government.


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