Covid vaccination rate in Urk far behind rest of NL
The vaccination rate against Covid-19 in the mostly-Christian municipality of Urk is far below that of the rest of the Netherlands. Also in comparison with the other municipalities from the "bible belt", Urk is far behind. Health service GGD Flevoland therefore wants to start a conversation with Urk residents about getting the Covid-19 jab and the interest of public health, Omroep Flevoland reports.
According to public health institute RIVM, about 85 percent of adult Netherlands residents have had at least one Covid-19 vaccine administered. In Urk that's between 20 and 39 percent - far behind even other bible belt municipalities, where the vaccination rate is traditionally low, like Staphorst (between 40 and 59 percent) and Barneveld (between 60 and 74 percent).
"We would like to see the number of vaccinations in Urk higher," Marjon Antoons of GGD Flevoland said to the local broadcaster. "At the same time, it is a free choice and we try to motivate as many people as possible to get a vaccination." This includes a social media campaign, and letters sent from local GPs with information about vaccination.
Deputy mayor Freek Brouwer told Omroep Flevoland that the freedom of choice is what should be emphasized. "We have given the information that we think we have to provide," Brouwer said. "The people here in Urk will make a well-considered choice themselves and we respect that."
According to Brouwer, there are very few coronavirus infections in Urk and a lot of young people. "We know that it has less influence on young people and they will therefore not simply be vaccinated," he said.