All adults in the Netherlands can book a Janssen Covid vaccine from June 21
All residents of the Netherlands aged 18 and up will be allowed to contact the GGD to book an appointment for the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine starting on June 21, the Ministry of Health said on Friday. Use of the single-dose vaccine had been temporarily suspended for most groups in the Netherlands because other vaccines were considered to be more effective with a reduced risk of side effects.
The ministry and the European Medicines Agency has always maintained that the vaccine is "safe and effective", and has "the practical advantage that one shot is enough to be fully vaccinated." In rare cases, the vaccine was linked to a serious side effect of blood clots with a low platelet count, though not of those cases have been reported in the Netherlands.
Production delays also hampered the ability of the Netherlands to use the product. That will change starting June 21 when the country will take delivery of 75 thousand vaccine doses, and another 125 thousand the week after.
A special phone line will open on June 21 to schedule the appointment. Those who have an appointment for a different vaccine will be allowed to call the number to make the change, which may require moving the appointment to a different GGD location.
If the phone line is overwhelmed, they can enter a virtual queue where they will receive an SMS alert to book their appointment. Those who get the Janssen vaccine will be informed about the difference in efficacy, and the risk of side effects. They will then have to give their informed consent to accepting the shot.
“We no longer offer the Janssen vaccine as standard in the vaccination campaign, but I do want to offer people the freedom to opt for the Janssen vaccine. Because it's safe and effective, and you're done in one go," De Jonge said in a statement.
He also said people should not necessarily wait for Janssen. "The sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you are protected against the virus," he stated.
The vaccine was developed at the Janssen laboratory in Leiden, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.