De Jonge expects to have all adults fully vaccinated by September 1
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced on Sunday that he expects all adults in the Netherlands who want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to be able to be fully protected before September.
If the majority of adults are vaccinated this means that the Netherlands could get rid of most restrictions by the start of the new school year in September, he said during a televised interview on WNL. He did not specify if that would include the 1.5-meter social distancing rule
The health minister hedged his bets, saying that infection numbers can still rise again if people are not careful. “For now you still have to observe the 1.5-meter distance rule as long as you are not vaccinated. We think we are ‘almost there', but if we abandon these rules now, it will take longer”, De Jonge warned.
Vaccination schedules submitted by De Jonge to Parliament as recently as March showed that the vaccination campaign would very likely have to continue into September to inoculate all eligible adults against the coronavirus disease
The new target is still dependent on deliveries from different pharmaceutical companies which have not always run smoothly in the past. On Friday, De Jonge admitted for the first time that it would take until mid-July for all adults to have access to at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine due to delivery issues with the Janssen vaccine. For several months De Jonge had maintained that all adults would likely have access to at least one shot by the beginning of July.
During the interview, De Jonge also criticized threats made against medical experts and ministers. “You never get used to that. If someone can’t even go to Albert Heijn or for a bike ride, that’s very sad.”