Free food and live music: GGDs hope to increase vaccine rate by offering fun in the queue

Coronavirus vaccination in the Netherlands is skyrocketing and all adults in the country can now book an appointment for the first jab. But what about the ones who haven’t done so yet?

While the overall willingness to vaccinate is 87%, the Dutch Ministry of Health wants to make sure that vaccination is high across all age groups and regions, reports the NOS

To ensure this, Dutch GGDs together with other authorities are working out creative solutions to attract people who haven’t been vaccinated yet.

While individuals in IJmuiden got to enjoy free herring after getting their shot last week, people in the region of Hollands Midden can look forward to getting free ice cream next week. 

A concert or a jab appointment?

Amsterdammers will get to enjoy live music at every vaccination location. “We try to make vaccination as pleasant and fun as possible,” says a spokesperson for GGD Amsterdam. 

Utrecht uses a similar strategy, having recently worked with the music venue TivoliVredenburg. “This gives the artists a stage and the vaccinated people beautiful live music,” says spokesperson for GGD Utrecht.

What about younger generations?

Outgoing Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge, points out that even though the willingness to get the vaccine is higher than expected among young people, it is still at 76% — which is lower than the average. 

This is why younger generations in particular are the target group of many creative strategies. While the Utrecht-based doctor Putri Hintaran reaches them via TikTok, GGD Rotterdam-Rijnmond has special selfie walls where they can snap a photo after the injection. 

No Dutch? No problem

As for people who speak little or no Dutch at all, the GGDs try to reach them via their children’s school.

Their parents get an invitation for a free appointment where they can get information about the vaccine as well as the shot.

Vulnerable neighbourhoods

The Dutch government has also introduced initiatives to reach people in vulnerable neighbourhoods, sending vaccine vans to areas where vaccination uptake has been low. The vans have been used in Friesland, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague. 

What do you think about this strategy to increase vaccination? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: YuliyaKirayonakBO/DepositPhotos

Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Originally from the Czech Republic, Jana moved to the Netherlands for her studies. She fell in love with the local biking culture, and you’ll see her drifting through the streets of Rotterdam on her pink bike even in the worst possible weather (think rain, snow, hail, or all three). Besides advocating for Rotterdam as the best Dutch city, she likes to wander around with a camera in her hand.


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