Netherlands misses weekly Covid vaccination target by 33%; Hospital cases up 9%
Over the past week, the Netherlands provided an estimated 280,570 vaccines against Covid-19, well below the planned target of 416 thousand. Despite that, the Ministry of Health raised its expectations, and said it planned to administer 514 thousand jabs by the end of this calendar week.
“Last week I would have liked to have seen more injections,” said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge to reporters on Monday. “The prognosis was too high. The realization, too low.” He acknowledged the country was fully in the grip of the third wave of the pandemic, and said that healthcare workers will inject as many people as quickly as possible now that the AstraZeneca vaccine is in use again after the European Medicines Agency blood clot investigation.
Once vaccine deliveries increase, the hospital system will be ready to assist in the mass vaccination campaign, said Ernst Kuipers, the chair of the Dutch acute care network LNAZ. “I am hopeful that the number of available vaccines in May will be so high that hospitals will be asked for help,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
Working only on weekends, hospitals could administer 600 thousand injections weekly. That would rise to 2 million if hospitals assisted over an entire week. “If it is necessary for us to help, we will gladly do it.”
Since the vaccination program started on January 6, the country has provided 2,378,806 vaccine doses. Roughly 1.66 million shots were the first of a two-dose regimen, meaning about 11.5 percent of the adult population is at least partially protected against the disease. About 4.7 percent of all adults, or 677 thousand people, have been fully vaccinated.
Hospitalizations for Covid-19 rose by nine percent over the past seven days, with an average of 237 patients admitted daily into regular care and 39 others brought into an intensive care unit. The currently total of admitted patients rose for the fifth consecutive day on Monday, patient coordination office LCPS said.
There were 2,342 patients in care on Monday afternoon, four percent higher than on Sunday, and seven percent higher than a week ago. The total included 1,667 people in regular care, a net increase of 74, and 675 others in the ICU, a net increase of 20. The ICU tally was at its highest level since January 24.
"We expect this trend to continue over the upcoming week," the LCPS wrote in a statement.
Public health agency RIVM also said that 6,824 more people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. That pushed the seven-day average up for the 21st day in a row, which reached 7,407 on Monday, the highest total since January 11.
Both Amsterdam and Rotterdam had moving daily averages near 320, while in The Hague the figure topped 221. All three cities, and many others like Utrecht, Tilburg and Eindhoven, have seen significant surges in weekly infection figures of anywhere from 15 to 30 percent.
People in the Netherlands have tested positive for the infection 1,259,155 times over the past 13 months. Some 16,475 people diagnosed with Covid-19 died from the disease.