People with obesity to get priority for Covid vaccine; NL slowly catching up to rest of Europe
People who are morbidly obese, have Down's Syndrome, or have difficulty breathing due to a neurological disorder will get priority for coronavirus vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Ministry of Public Health confirmed to NU.nl. The Dutch vaccination program is gaining steam and the Netherlands is slowly catching up with the rest of Europe in terms of number of residents vaccinated against Covid-19.
The reason that morbidly obese people, people with a BMI of 40 or higher, will get vaccinated sooner is that they are at greater risk of serious complications from a coronavirus infection due to their weight. In March last year, during the first wave of coronavirus infections, 80 percent of all Covid-19 patients in ICU were overweight.
The Health Council advised that the AstraZeneca vaccine be used for people under the age of 65, giving priority to the three above mentioned risk groups. In 2018, the Netherlands had about 100 thousand adults with morbid obesity, and an estimated 13 thousand residents with Down's Syndrome. How many people have difficulty breathing due to a neurological disorder, is unclear.
The AstraZeneca vaccine will be delivered to GP practices in the coming weeks. Due to the limited availability of this vaccine, the deliveries will be made per region. Zeeland is the first region to receive the vaccine.
The vaccination program in the Netherlands is slowly gaining momentum, and is expected to gain even more steam when the AstraZeneca vaccine becomes available. While the Netherlands is still last in Europe in terms of the number of residents vaccinated, the country is slowly catching up, RTL Nieuws reported based on the latest vaccination data available.
According to the broadcaster, the Netherlands currently stands at 2.54 people per 100 residents vaccinated against the coronavirus. That is at the bottom of the list and way below the United Kingdom, which is leading this race with 19.39 people per 100 residents vaccinated.
The Netherlands' speed of vaccination is picking up though, and last week we overtook Belgium, France and Germany in the number of vaccinations administered per day.