Website launched for leftover Covid-19 vaccines at Dutch GP’s
A special website was launched this week allowing general practitioners and institutions to report any leftover Covid-19 vaccines they may have throughout the day. People are then able to search for an available vaccine within 20 kilometers of their chosen location, NOS reported.
The website went live three weeks after Zwolle general physician Marco Blanker said he had to throw away 60 syringes filled with AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses after dozens of people did not show up for an open call to be vaccinated against the disease.
"A lot of people indicated that they found that terrible," one of the website founders, Marlies Schijven, wrote on social media.
Alongside Schijven, the website has also been put together by trainee general practitioner Bernard Leenstra and software developer Anees Saban. "If I don't have to throw away any more vaccines because of this, that would be great. I've seen terribly sick people here and it just hurts when you have to throw away vaccines," Leenstra told the broadcaster NOS.
Schijven wrote that there may not be too many vaccines available in the first days, but was optimistic there would be more general practitioners and institutions joining the project soon. "But we expect that a lot of GPs will participate very soon because it is now possible. And then only a few vaccines will disappear in the trash can."
The initiative has already received criticism from the Ministry of Health who found the idea to be "not sensible". The Ministry argued that the distribution of the vaccines was exclusively the task of Public health agency RIVM.
"RIVM follows the national strategy: the most vulnerable and the elderly first. This initiative does not," the ministry representative said.
"We use leftovers, they are always there and sometimes they can’t be given to those they are intended for. What we do does not conflict, but rather supports the policy of the ministry. In the sense that we want to prevent even one syringe from being thrown away. So we will continue with it," said Blanker in a response.