Saturday 28 November 2020

Mass coronavirus vaccination programme may take a year, health chief says

Photo: SELF Magazine

It will take at least a year to vaccinate everyone in the Netherlands against coronavirus, once a vaccine becomes available, Hans van Vliet, head of the national vaccination programme at the RIVM public health institute has told broadcaster NOS.

The Netherlands will have access to 11.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which was this week revealed to offer protection of up to 90%, NOS said.

Two other vaccines, developed by AstraZeneca in Oxford and Johnson &Johnson in Leiden are also expected to report back on progress shortly.

Preparations are now underway for a mass vaccination programme but the details have not yet been finalised, Van Vliet said. The elderly and people with vulnerable health conditions are likely to be the first to be vaccinated but different population groups may be offered different vaccines, depending on which is most suitable.

The health ministry has told RTL that ‘everything is ready’ to roll out a vaccination programme in the first months of 2021, but this may be optimistic, Van Vliet said.

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