GGD’s to boost Covid vaccine capacity to 2 million by end of May
The GGD health branches in the Netherlands are preparing to administer up to 2 million Covid-19 vaccines per week starting from the end of May, ANP reported. The intention is in line with caretaker Health Minister Hugo de Jonge’s goal to have 2.5 million coronavirus jabs administered weekly by the end of June.
Earlier on Thursday, the network of acute care providers announced that sixty hospitals in the Netherlands will be set up to become Covid-19 vaccination sites by the end of May, capable of administering up to a million jabs per week. According to the Health Ministry, if more than two million vaccines can be provided in a week by the GGD services, the remaining doses will be administered at the hospitals.
The expanded vaccine capacity can only be used if enough doses of the four different vaccines used in the Netherlands are delivered to the country. An estimated six million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses are expected to be delivered this week through the end of June, with two doses needed per person. Pfizer/BioNTech who previously announced they will increase its Covid-19 vaccine deliveries to the Netherlands by sending between 144,000 and 230,000 additional doses to the country every week, with the advanced schedule having started at the end of April. Over the next few weeks, the Netherlands expects to receive at least 735,000 more doses of the one-shot Janssen Vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which could scale up further in June.
The RIVM claims that nearly a third of all adult residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine. That is an estimate based on doses distributed across the country with an assumption that about one percent sent to medical care institutions and general practitioners end up being wasted. The raw data is not available to back up that claim, as only about three-fourths of all vaccines administered have been recorded in a database and shared with the RIVM.
An estimated 5,980,676 shots were administered in the country through Wednesday, with the six millionth injection given on Thursday. This calendar week, the Public health agency RIVM is projecting that 815 thousand vaccine doses will be given, likely the second-highest weekly total to date.
The involvement of hospitals will not affect how people are invited for the vaccination, and how they can schedule an appointment. Additional vaccination capacities in hospitals will be added during off-peak hours.
They will be tasked primarily with vaccinating "young, healthy people" as part of a push to increase the vaccination rate.
A six-step gradual reopening plan which is meant to get the country out of a lockdown is based on the assumption that all adult residents will have the opportunity to receive at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine by early July.