More than one-million coronavirus vaccines will come to the Netherlands later than planned

Dutch Minister of Health Hugo De Jonge may have been overly optimistic when he announced the Netherlands’ vaccination plan earlier this week. At least one million doses are likely to come later than planned. 

The plan was unveiled on Monday with a goal of getting the Netherlands vaccinated against coronavirus before October 1. However, wrinkles are already appearing in the process.

De Jonge expected 8 million vaccines before the end of March. Now, a NOS investigation has revealed at least 1.1 million doses will come later than the Dutch government thinks.

Two doses of the vaccine are required per person, so the effect will result in 550,000 people vaccinated later than planned.

Of the four vaccines planned to come to the Netherlands, the timelines of three have already been affected.

Some vaccines are not approved yet

De Jonge accounted for 600,000 doses of the German Curevac vaccine in the first quarter.

However, Curevac cannot be approved by the European medicines authority EMA until April. The government knew this before revealing the vaccination plan. If the vaccine is approved in April, it’s still unknown how quickly delivery will begin.

Some deliveries delayed

The Netherlands was also expecting a delivery of 500,000 Pfizer vaccines by March via the European Commission.

But Pfizer contradicts this delivery date. Instead, the company estimates it will be able to deliver by April at the earliest. A European Commission spokesman says it could be as late as July.

READ MORE | Coronavirus update: “convincing effects” of Dutch lockdown yet to be seen, says RIVM

The French vaccine, Sanofi, will also deliver later than De Jonge’s plan. A delivery of 5.85 million doses was expected between July and September — but the company told NOS that these will arrive in October at the earliest.

This is unsurprising — the company producing Sanofi already announced in mid-December that initial results of vaccine testing were poor, causing a delay in development.

What is the vaccination schedule?

You can view a summary of the officially-released Dutch vaccination schedule as it was released Monday, January 4 below.

Who When
Nursing home and disability care staff January 6 — May 1
Nursing home residents and intellectual-disability residents in an institution January 6 — mid-February
ICU, clinic, ambulance, emergency care workers January 6 — mid-February
GGZ long-term institution patients and care workers February/March — June 1
People aged 60–75 Mid-March — October 1
People living at home older than 75 years and non-mobile people living at home aged 60-75 March — October 1
People aged 18-60 with a pre-existing medical condition end of February — October 1
All other healthcare workers April — August 1
People aged 18-60 years April/May — October 1

Are you concerned about the vaccine timeline? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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

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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