Dutch Health Min: All who want Covid vaccination can get first shot by July
Dutch residents of the Netherlands who want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to receive at least their first injection by early July, if all expected vaccine deliveries go according to plan that is, departing Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said on television program Op1 on Tuesday evening.
The government expects that about 85 percent of the 14.4 million adult Netherlands residents want to be vaccinated. If all goes according to plan, two thirds of them will be fully inoculated by the beginning of July. And the remaining third will have at least their first shot, De Jonge said.
All three vaccines currently approved for use in Europe - Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech - require two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, partly developed by Leiden pharmaceutical Janssen, requires only one dose. The expectation is that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will approve this vaccine next week.
De Jonge previously thought it would take until at least autumn to partially vaccinate everyone who wanted a vaccine. But recent experiences with administering the shots and the deliveries from the pharmaceuticals have made him more optimistic, he said.
The departing Health Minister stressed that this all depends on the deliveries from the various pharmaceuticals happening according to schedule.
Up to February 28, a total of 1,004,757 people in the country have received at least their first shot of a vaccine against Covid-19.
After a slow start, the Netherlands is doing an admirable job in catching up to the rest of Europe when it comes to vaccinating its population against Covid-19. According to the latest figures from the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), the Netherlands is currently in 4th place on the ranking, with only Finland, Denmark and Malta having more if their populations vaccinated.