Netherlands will start vaccinations ahead of schedule after all
The Dutch acute care providers network LNAZ announced on Saturday that acute care workers, such as ICU nurses and doctors, will be the first to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Additionally, the inoculation program might start earlier than January 8.
Until now, it was said that the Netherlands would not start its vaccination program until Friday, January 8. Other European countries have been administering the Pfizer vaccine since last week, which led to significant criticism towards the Health Minister Hugo de Jonge.
On Monday, a petition circulated on Twitter calling for the vaccination of healthcare workers to start earlier. It was signed more than 12,000 times within 24 hours. The same evening, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge emphasized once again that it is not possible to start vaccinations earlier than January 8 in terms of “implementation.”
However, the government confirmed on Saturday that it would aim to start vaccinating acute care workers ahead of schedule. The exact start date would be announced by January 4, at the latest. In a statement, they write that “the worrying situation in acute care is partly prompted by the absenteeism of health care workers, often corona-related. This is why acute care workers become part of the group that is first to qualify for vaccination.” The process is said to take place in ten hospitals spread across the country.
The LNAZ stated that they would shortly announce their plan to vaccinate ICU nurses and doctors, emergency care workers, coronavirus patient ward staff and ambulance crews. This concerns approximately 30,000 employees.
The national vaccination operation is still said to begin on Friday, January 8, at three of the 26 municipal injection locations: Veghel, Houten, and Rotterdam.