Covid booster plan accelerated; To start Nov. 19 with elderly, healthcare
Elderly people, residents of healthcare institutions, and healthcare staff with direct patient contact will be eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot from next Friday, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced on Friday. Earlier, the Cabinet was planning to start rolling out booster shots at the beginning of December.
The GGDs will be responsible for vaccinating the elderly, starting with the oldest people first. Healthcare workers will vaccinate other healthcare workers, the Ministry of Health said. Hospitals vaccinate their own staff, in addition to general practitioners and paramedics. Other healthcare workers will also be vaccinated by healthcare staff operating from GGD locations.
Elderly people who can visit a GGD location themselves can go there starting November 19. The first invitations will be sent to people over 80 on the 18th. This group may also bring their partner for a booster shot, provided they are at least 60 years old.
From November 23, the vaccination of adults in care institutions will begin. At the end of December, roughly 4 million people over 60 will be invited for a shot. Everyone under 60 will follow. De Jonge said he thinks it will take a few months before everyone who wants a booster shot will have gotten one. The GGD must carry out the operation in addition to existing activities, like providing vaccinations to latecomers, and performing coronavirus tests.
The fact that the Cabinet wanted to start with boosters at the beginning of December led to dismay in both the Tweede Kamer and the healthcare sector. The GGDs indicated earlier this week that they were ready to begin giving booster shots right away.
"We have the vaccination locations, we have the vaccines and we have the people. In theory we can start quickly. But behind the scenes things still have to be arranged. Those preparations are in full swing," the umbrella organization GGD GHOR Nederland said on Wednesday. at.
De Jonge called the booster campaign a "huge operation" and said he was "very happy with all the work that the GGDs and the people in healthcare are doing". According to the minister, everything has been done to move the start date forward.
Reporting by ANP.