Netherlands preparing for three Covid booster rounds in 2022
The Cabinet is assuming that there will be three booster rounds for Covid-19 vaccines next year, including the current booster campaign, and at least one more in 2023. Health minister Hugo de Jonge provided the Tweede Kamer with that update in a letter sent on Wednesday.
The Cabinet and RIVM are trying to map out how many boosters will be needed next year as accurately as possible. However, that is "not easy since we have to take into account a large number of variables, some of which are as-yet unknown. The Cabinet is therefore opting for certainty to the extent it is possible," De Jonge wrote.
The Netherlands is stocking up on almost 6 million extra Covid-19 vaccines for those possible additional booster rounds. The vaccine doses, like 12 million previously ordered vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, may already have been adapted for the Omicron variant.
De Jonge wrote that there are "sufficient vaccines for the current booster campaign" and that the extra vaccines ordered will provide room “for the possibility of extra booster rounds in the second quarter and the fall of 2022, and in 2023". The Cabinet is therefore aiming for the highest possible vaccination coverage, according to the minister.
So far, approximately 3 million booster shots have been used in the Netherlands. The aim is to give all adults access to the booster jab before February 1. De Jonge said he expected this goal to be achieved while visiting the GGD last week. "The GGD has never let us down," he remarked.
Reporting by ANP