Have a smaller buffer so more people can get Covid vaccine faster: D66
The Netherlands must maintain a smaller buffer stock of coronavirus vaccines so that more people can get vaccinated faster, according to the D66. The vaccine deliveries are increasingly predictable and it is therefore possible to use more of the vaccines already in stock, the party said to RTL Nieuws.
Three vaccines are currently in use in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe - Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna. All these require two shots. The European Medicines Agency is expected to approve the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week. That vaccine, developed by Leiden subsidiary Janssen, only requires one dose.
When the Netherlands started vaccinating people against the coronavirus, the cabinet kept a buffer stock of 100 percent - for every shot given, there was one in stock for the second required dose. This was to make sure that everyone who got their first dose, would also be able to get their second dose, even if a manufacturer could not make the promised future deliveries.
That 100 percent buffer was soon decreased in order to vaccinate more people more quickly, as more vaccines became available. Currently, the Netherlands maintains a buffer stock of about 30 percent. But according to the D66, that buffer can be even smaller.
This is the ideal time to speed up the vaccination rate by keeping fewer reserves, the party said to RTL Nieuws. The D66 wants to follow Denmark's example, where 90 percent of vaccines are used immediately and 10 percent kept in reserve. "These are the weeks in which vaccination yields the greatest health benefits and when stockpiling is most expensive," current D66 leader Rob Jetten said to the broadcaster.
"The government must now do everything in its power to accelerate giving the first injection to as many elderly and vulnerable people as possible, and then administer the second injection in the second quarter," Jetten said. "For their health, but also to speed up the opening of society and the economy by weeks."