The cabinet is assuming that there will be two extra coronavirus booster rounds next year and at least one in 2023 when calculating how many vaccine doses to buy, health minister Hugo de Jonge has told MPs in a briefing.
Ministers and public health institute RIVM are trying to assess how many boosters will be needed in 2022 but it is not an easy task given all the unknown variables, De Jonge said.
‘The cabinet is therefore opting to be on the safe side,’ the minister said.
Some 35 million doses of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine have already been ordered for 2022 and 2023 as well as 10.5 million doses of Moderna, 840,000 doses of Novax and 10,000 doses of Valneva, if it is approved for use in the EU.
An extra 5.8 million doses of Biontech/Pfizer have also been ordered via the EU purchasing strategy.
The Netherlands has ‘enough vaccines for the current booster campaign and an ample basis for possible extra booster rounds in the second quarter and autumn of 2022 and in 2023,’ De Jonge said in his briefing.
The purchasing strategy also takes the vaccination of all children aged five to 11 into account.
The Netherlands was slow to start its current booster drive, but according to the government’s coronavirus dashboard, some 3.1 million people have now had a third vaccine dose.
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