Union, care organisations raise doubts about mass vaccination programme

Photo: SELF Magazine
Photo: SELF Magazine

The chairman of the second biggest trade union federation in the Netherlands has said the government’s plan to carry out a mass coronavirus vaccination programme is inadequate.

CNV chief Piet Fortuin says he is concerned that the Netherlands is lagging behind, despite government assurances that vaccinating can begin as soon as the vaccines have official approval, and hopefully in early January.

‘Vaccinating millions of people is an immense operation which has never before been done in the Netherlands,’ he said. ‘Germany is currently turning its drive-through testing centres into vaccination locations. Everything will be ready in two weeks.

‘The Netherlands is waiting for the vaccine to be ready and delivered, and will only then look at how the implementation is organised. It is a waste of time.’

Several healthcare organisations have also raised doubts about the January start date. Actiz, which represents some 400 companies providing care and support to the elderly and people with chronic health conditions, has described De Jonge’s announcement as ‘enthusiastic and a little premature‘.

Britain, which no longer has to wait for European Medicines Agency approval, has already given the green light to the Pfizer and the BioNTech vaccines and will start its vaccination programme next week.

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