Youngsters are jumping the vaccination queue: Volkskrant


Dozens of youngsters have been able to jump the vaccination queue by lying about having a chronic health condition which gives them priority, the Volkskrant has found.

The paper talked to a number of youngsters who said they knew of ‘dozens of cases’ in which proof of an underlying problem such as asthma or diabetes was not asked for by officials.

A spokesman for the regional health board confirmed that this has happened and called the youngsters’ action ‘indecent’. However, he said, the system has to remain ‘a low threshold one’ and will not be changed. The incidents occurred in at least six vaccination locations, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Students have been sharing Whatsapp messages about obtaining a vaccine without medical proof for weeks, the paper found. ‘Have you not been vaccinated yet? It’s very simple’, one message read. The students were told officials would not check if they really had an underlying condition which would entitle them to the jab.

The reasons given by the students to jump the queue included the cost of PCR tests which would be ‘a pain in the ass when travelling’, one 22-year-old student said. The long wait was another reason. ‘I don’t want to get ill at the tail end of the pandemic,’ a 28-year-old former student told the paper.

A number of people who spoke to the paper said the low percentage of people taking up the vaccine was another reason to jump the queue. ‘By getting vaccinated I’m helping to speed up the process,’ a 24-year old student said. Several members of her family have gone down the same route, she said.

‘We don’t check when people make the appointment whether or not they have an underlying condition,’ the GGD spokesman said. ‘Once on site they should be asked to produce the letter of invitation ‘but that doesn’t always happen, we’re not border control.’

The news comes in the wake of a report by RTL Nieuws that people who had pretended to be care workers had also jumped the queue.

Some 1.8 million people with underlying conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma, are entitled to be vaccinated early but only half, so far, have come forward. Some 8.6 million doses of vaccine have been given in the Netherlands to date and people in their 40s are now being invited to make an appointment.

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