75,000 vaccinated so far as nursing homes begin to inoculate residents
So far, 75 thousand residents of the Netherlands have been vaccinated against Covid-19, roughly 0.4 percent of the entire population, public health institute RIVM said on Monday. That includes 40 thousand acute care workers, and 35 thousand healthcare employees at live-in facilities for people with disabilities.
Vaccination of the first residents of nursing homes and disability care homes began on Monday with the inoculation of Tini, a 101-year-old resident of the Opella home in Bennekom. This week, the government expects to vaccinate 15 thousand care home residents.
On Friday, municipal health service GGD also opened up all remaining mass vaccination points, meaning there are 26 locations in country's 25 healthcare regions. "This will really get the vaccination operation underway," Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.
"With the help of institutional doctors, we are now starting to protect our elderly and the most vulnerable people. They are the most important group in the vaccination strategy."
The GGD expects to vaccinate 66 thousand healthcare workers per week, and will scale up the operation as more vaccine doses are delivered to the Netherlands. This week, vaccination for the disabled is taking place in more than ten care facilities across the country.
Care home residents will receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Transportation of the Pfizer vaccine is complicated due to the low -70 degrees Celsius temperature required to store the medicine. "RIVM has worked out how the vaccine can be provided to these institutions," the Health Ministry stated.
"These are large institutions with residents who are spread over numerous small locations across the country. The hospital pharmacists take care of the distribution and provide support to guarantee quality and medical care," said the LNAZ, the national network of acute care providers.
In the upcoming weeks, the coronavirus vaccine, Moderna will also be used in the fight against the disease. It will primarily be given to the elderly and people with a disability living in small care facilities. These vaccinations will be carried out by their general practitioner.
Acute care workers will receive their second dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine beginning on January 27.