GGDs ready for a new round of injections, waiting for an adapted vaccine
The GGDs say they are ready for the new round of vaccinations against the coronavirus next autumn. It remains to be seen whether the modified coronavirus vaccine that the Cabinet hopes for has been assessed in time by the European medicines watchdog.
Initially, people with a higher risk of a serious course of a coronavirus infection will be given a repeat shot, as will healthcare staff who make contact with patients. The GGDs intend to administer 700,000 injections per week from mid-September.
"It is going well," said the Twente GGD about the preparation of the autumn campaign. "It is of course challenging, but we look forward to the campaign with confidence," the Kennemerland GGD also reports. Other GGD regions have also announced that they are ready for the assignment in September.
The Limburg-Noord GGD will open two more vaccination locations in the near future: one in Weert and one in Venray. An additional vaccination location will also be added in the Hollands Noorden region, in Middenmeer. A new vaccination location is currently being set up in Assendelft for the Zaanstreek-Waterland GGD. A new location will also be opened in the Rotterdam region at the beginning of September.
Some regions are still searching for staff for the vaccination sites. The Gelderland-Midden GGD reports that recruiting pickers and people for administrative positions is going well. "Recruiting nurses and doctors is a bit more difficult," said a spokerperson, but she expects that too will work out.
The Groningen GGD is also continuously looking for doctors. In Zaanstreek-Waterland, personnel are also still being sought and trained. The GGD Utrecht still has "vacancy" but expects to be able to fill them in time.
The Cabinet wants to use modified versions of the coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna for the new round of injections in September. The vaccines should provide better protection against the Omicron variant of the virus.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently considering the new versions of the injections from Pfizer and Moderna. It is still unclear when that judgment will be ready. The Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board –– part of the EMA –– expects to issue a ruling "during September." If the modified vaccines are not available before mid-September, the Outbreak Vaccination Management Team will issue new advice on how to approach the autumn campaign.
Reporting by ANP