Dutch family doctors also get priority for Covid vaccines; Gov’t to update strategy Monday
General practitioners in the Netherlands will also be among the first in line to get vaccinated against Covid-19 regardless of the European Medicines Agency’s position on a vaccine produced by pharmaceutical firm Moderna. The family physicians had not been on the list of people to get priority access to vaccines if only the Pfizer/BioNTech product was approved by the agency.
The LHV, which represents family doctors across the country, made the announcement after days of talks with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Meetings were arranged after the ministry decided on Saturday to give intensive care and emergency care workers priority alongside those healthcare workers who staff nursing homes, care facilities, and who make house calls for people in vulnerable health. Ambulance crews and staff working in coronavirus wards at hospitals will also get a priority position for vaccination.
“Today we made a clear agreement with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport: everyone who plays a role in emergency GP care is part of the chain of acute care, and will be vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Ella Kalsbeek, the LHV chair, in a statement. The general practitioners are still more likely to be inoculated with the vaccine produced by Moderna, pending its approval.
The European Medicines Agency was set to rule on the Moderna product on Wednesday, with a green light meaning the Netherlands can begin taking delivery this month. “In the administrative consultation of today (3 January), the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the LHV have additionally agreed that, should the Moderna vaccine not become available in January, a different solution will be sought for rapid vaccination of GPs working in the 24-hour general practitioner urgent care,” the LHV said. “Whether this alternative solution is needed will be further assessed on January 15.”
So far, the EMA has only approved the vaccine from Pfizer, which will go into use in the Netherlands by Friday, if not sooner.
Doctors who are pregnant, and doctors who do not interact with Covid patients will not receive priority, according to broadcaster NOS.