Parents can schedule Covid vaccines for children under 12 from Jan. 18
All children from the age of five will be eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the month, the RIVM said on Friday. A letter will be sent to parents over a five day period, starting on January 18, to inform them that they can call a hotline to schedule the appointment. The first vaccinations of children who are not considered medically vulnerable will begin the following week.
In total, almost 1.3 million children will be able to be inoculated against the coronavirus disease. They will receive a smaller children's dose of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech. If it is more convenient for parents, children from the same family may be vaccinated during the same appointment.
Separate "children's lanes" will be designated at the GGD vaccination locations. "Vaccine administrators will take extra time for the children, and offer extra care. Their parents will be present. All of this has to be done in a calm manner," said the GGD GHOR Nederland, which represents all regional offices of the health service. It is up to the GGD regions themselves to determine whether the children can go to the same vaccine sites which are used for other people, or if they will designate separate locations to carry out vaccinations for younger children.
The Netherlands already started vaccinating younger children from a vulnerable risk category last month. There are about 8,000 children in that group. Some of the medical conditions placing them at higher risk of serious disease if they are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus include severe asthma, a congenital heart defect, and Down syndrome. Roughly one thousand of them have been vaccinated so far, according to the Ministry of Health.
Children under 12 with a medical condition get two vaccine shots separated by four weeks. Those without a medical condition will get their second shot after eight weeks.
No vaccine has been approved for use in the Netherlands for children under the age of five.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times