First vaccine dose for everyone by early July is realistic, says health minister

Hugo de Jonge. Photo: Roel Wijnants via Flickr

Everyone in the Netherlands who wants to be vaccinated against coronavirus will have been able to have at least their first shot by early July, if deliveries hold up, health minister Hugo de Jonge told television show Op1 on Tuesday night.

Ministers said earlier it would be the autumn before everyone had had their first dose. However, the speed at which vaccinations are proceeding and availability give rise to more optimism, De Jonge said.

The government estimates 85% of adults in the Netherlands are prepared to be vaccinated. Two thirds of them will have had both doses (if necessary) by July and the rest a single dose, or 18 million doses in total, De Jonge said.

However, if deliveries fall short, than delays will be inevitable, De Jonge said. So far nearly 1.4 million doses have been given in the Netherlands, and the country is no longer trailing at the bottom of the EU vaccination league.

The three vaccines currently cleared for use – Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer/Biontech – require two doses but the Janssen vaccine, which is likely to be approved by the European Medicines Agency next week – is a single dose jab.

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