Vaccine vans: new Dutch initiative to reach 85% vaccination rate

In the next few weeks, the Ministry of Health will organise a nationwide campaign where vans will be sent into neighbourhoods to vaccinate people against coronavirus. The aim of this campaign is to vaccinate 85% of the population of the Netherlands.

The mobile vaccination sites are mainly being sent to areas where the vaccination uptake has been low. These include deprived neighbourhoods and Christian municipalities, reports Nu.nl. In addition to a high rate of vaccination, it’s equally important that the vaccines are spread widely and equally across the country.

The GGD will soon be visiting these areas to provide information to residents about the coronavirus vaccine. People who are interested will be able to get their shot immediately and won’t need to make an appointment.

Why is this campaign so crucial?

These measures have been designed to prevent local outbreaks. In the worst-case scenario, these outbreaks can lead to mutations. There’s concern amongst scientists that such mutations could even be harmful to people who have already been vaccinated.  Nevertheless, the vaccines seem to be working well against the variants that are currently known.

In addition, RTL Nieuws reports that experts are warning about another peak in the virus. While the peak may be lower than the previous ones as many people have had their shots, it’s still possible for people to contract the virus even after being vaccinated.

Where have they been used so far?

The pop-up vaccination site was first used in the Frisian city of Harlingen last month. The busses are now also running in other places in the province. In addition, they have been used in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. In these cities, they were used to vaccinate homeless people, among others.

How many mobile vaccine boxes will there be?

It’s still to be determined how many vaccination boxes there will be and where exactly they will go. The Dutch Ministry of Health is still discussing with various GGDs and municipalities about this.

The Ministry also has to decide which vaccine will be used at these mobile sites. According to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Health, the Janssen vaccine could be a logical choice as it only requires one shot.

Tried and tested method

The GGD has had success with local campaigns like this before. In the past, the health service has run effective anti-smoking campaigns in neighbourhoods and recently ran mobile coronavirus testing locations.

Dutch vaccination effort is pushing forward

Outgoing Minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge, has just announced on Twitter that from today, anyone born in 1995 can make an appointment to get their jab.

Tweet translation:

Make way for 1995! The website is open from 10:00 for your vaccination appointments.#PlanDePrik, do it online and🗣 spread the word 👉 https://coronavaccinatie-afspraak.nl!

What are your thoughts on these vaccine vans? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Igor Vetushko/Depositphotos

Jen Lorimer 🇿🇼
An avid tea drinker, Jen was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She moved to Utrecht in 2017 to pursue her history degree. She loves people-watching, canoeing the Utrecht canals, and observing how the Dutch come alive in summer. Having been traumatised by a Dutch circle party, Jen wants to help equip other internationals with tips and tricks to survive and thrive in this wonderful flat country.

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