Netherlands announces first coronavirus vaccinations begin January 8: here’s who is first

The first Dutch coronavirus vaccination will be administered on Friday, January 8, according to a parliamentary letter from Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge. 

However, the long-awaited vaccination process will only begin if the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) next week.

Employees of nursing homes, carers for the disabled, community nurses and Social Support Act workers will be the first to be invited to receive the vaccination. They’ll receive an invitation and can then make an appointment by telephone. Later, appointments will be able to be made online.

READ MORE | Rewarded for taking the vaccine, or punished for not? Here’s what the Dutch think

Preparations underway

The vaccinations will be administered at three GGD locations no later than Monday, January 11. From Monday, January 18, there will be 25 central locations in the Netherlands that can administer the vaccine.

The BioNTech/Pfizer requires two separate injections, given three weeks apart. From the start, vaccinations will be given seven days a week across extended opening hours.

The first half a million doses of the vaccine are expected to be delivered this year.

READ NEXT | Dutch cabinet expects nearly 22 million vaccines in the first half of 2021

Netherlands falls behind

The Netherlands has been criticised for its slow vaccine process, particularly compared to neighbours like Germany. However, De Jonge says that a careful, safe, and responsible rollout was a priority.

“Ultimately, the highest possible vaccination coverage is our goal. We will only achieve this if people have confidence in the vaccine and in the vaccination process,” said De Jonge.

Are you planning on taking the vaccine when it is available? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Daniel Schludi/Unsplash

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Samantha Dixon
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

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