Netherlands beats last week’s Covid vaccination estimate; Will likely miss 1.5m/week target
An estimated 660,040 adults in the Netherlands received a Covid-19 vaccine shot last week, beating projections by 1.5 percent, figures from public health agency RIVM showed. The Ministry of Health said 815,056 people will receive an injection over the course of the current calendar week, which would be a 23 percent increase if achieved.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge provided a lower estimate than the RIVM, saying that 658 thousand were vaccinated last week. He also said the process was picking up steam, though last week’s total was actually lower than in mid-April.
De Jonge said during a press conference back in March that 1.5 million people could be vaccinated weekly in the Netherlands starting in May. The strong possibility now appears that the ambitious target will be missed. Municipal health service GGD told broadcaster NOS that it should be able to provide a million weekly injections by the last week of May. RIVM figures showed that other providers administered 250 thousand doses in the previous calendar week.
Neither the minister nor the RIVM are able to provide exact vaccination figures. Because of that, the RIVM has significantly revised the number of injections twice in April; first by raising the estimate by 19 percent, and then by lowering it back down by about seven percent.
Last week, it was revealed that roughly 30 percent of all shots given have not been logged into a primary database due to privacy concerns of those who received the injection. A secondary database with anonymized data about the vaccine program was reportedly missing even more records. Both have pledged to backtrack and work with hospitals, care homes, institutions, general physicians, and the GGD to record all information in at least one of the two databases.
An estimated 5,651,843 Covid-19 vaccine doses were used in the Netherlands between January 6 and Sunday, May 2. The RIVM model showed that 4,448,730 adults received at least a first injection, of which 1,203,113 have received a second injection. Broadcaster NOS pointed out that about 75 percent of the over-70 population have been at least partially vaccinated, though De Jonge said in March that everyone in that age group should have received a first shot by May.
Figures provided by the Ministry of Health to the European CDC showed that 29.2 percent of the adult population received a first vaccine dose, placing the Netherlands in ninth out of the 30 European Union and European Economic Area countries. The same dataset showed that the Netherlands was in 24th place for the fully vaccinated adult population, at 8.4 percent, with data through May 4.
Some of those were given the Janssen Vaccine, which only requires a single dose. However, for two weeks the RIVM has not said if these they are counted among those partially-vaccinated with a two-dose product, or if they are included among everyone who has been fully vaccinated.