First coronavirus booster vaccines available for people with low immunity


More than 200,000 people with immune deficiency disorders can start booking their coronavirus booster vaccines from today as the first invitations are sent out.

The health advisory council (Gezondheidsraad) said people who had not built up enough antibodies because they had a weakened immune system should be the first to receive a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

A decision on whether or not to roll out booster jabs to other vulnerable groups will be taken later, depending on how infections progress. The government has reserved €134 million for next year to spend on two doses for the entire population if needed.

The European Medicines Agency this week recommended a third dose for organ transplant patients with low immunity after studies showed it improved their ability to make antibodies. It also said antibody levels increased in healthy people aged 18 to 55 when they were given a booster six months after their second shot.

Annelies Hilgersom, who had a kidney transplant 14 years ago after her husband Raymond donated the organ, told RTL Nieuws that her family had been unable to go outside for more than a few hours a day since the start of the first lockdown last March.

‘My son isn’t going to school and my husband is at home all day as well,’ she said. ‘We mostly live at home and in the garden. We go outside once a day, to a big car park on an abandoned industrial site where we can run and play football.’

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