Long queues as website again shows doctors with leftover Covid vaccine doses
Update: Shortly after this article published, RTL Nieuws reported the website was also targeted in a DDoS cyberattack.
Due to the high demand for booster vaccines, the website prullenbakvaccine.nl has again increased in popularity. The website shows users wanting a Covid-19 vaccine if a any doctor’s offices in their area has leftover vaccine doses which might otherwise go to waste. On Wednesday evening, a hundred people showed up at the door of a general practitioner in The Hague for any leftover coronavirus vaccines, said Marlies Schijven, professor of surgery at the Amsterdam UMC hospital and one of the initiators of the website.
A group of doctors created the website earlier this year at the start of the vaccination campaign to prevent leftover coronavirus vaccines from being thrown away. The demand for the "trash bin vaccines" has increased again this past week. The GGD Amsterdam is among several organizations that noticed that the remaining vaccines are in great demand, she said.
There are various reasons why people may want a Covid-19 booster shot as soon as possible. "It concerns, for example, vulnerable people who are not yet in an age group eligible to receive a booster. Or people with a vulnerable partner. People who want to travel or just want to be protected are also looking for a booster shot," she said in an interview.
The website shows a map with the practices that have leftover vaccines available. When GPs have vaccines left over, they turn blue on the map. People can then queue up, though there is no guarantee of receiving a vaccine. "The vaccines may be gone by the time you arrive," the site notes. No reservations are allowed, as the site works with medical caregivers offering the unused vaccine doses on a first come, first served basis.
The site adheres to the government's vaccination program, emphasized Schijven. "It is not the case that people are entitled to a vaccine. Ultimately, it is up to the GP in consultation with the person. We only try to save leftover vaccines from ending up in the trash."
Reporting by ANP