The Dutch government on Tuesday started a campaign to convince people to get vaccinated against coronavirus, following approval for the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency.
In particular, the government has taken out full page adverts in newspapers, headlined ‘vaccinations can begin’ and outlining the route to the approval process.
The EMA and Dutch medicines council only approve a vaccine if ‘the efficiency, quality and safety have been proved’, the advert states. ‘The development and assessment [of the coronavirus vaccine] was carried out more quickly than usual. That has been possible because research into vaccines took place worldwide and at the same time, and knowledge was shared. That saves time.’
Research published last week does suggest growing Dutch acceptance of the need to vaccinate, although 30% are still in doubt and one third of them will say no.
The advert also includes the January 8 start date for the vaccination programme, and states that vulnerable people and those who work with them will be first in line for the vaccination. The 25 drop-in vaccination centres will be open from January 18.
So far, no updated information about the vaccination programme has been published in English.
The Amsterdam-based EMA on Monday gave its approval to the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine. The Netherlands will start with just over 500,000 doses, which is enough to vaccinate 250,000 people.
By the end of the first quarter, the Dutch share of the EU’s Pfizer/Biontech delivery will have mounted to almost 2.5 million doses, Marc Kaptein, director of Pfizer Nederland, told Nieuwsuur on Monday evening.
Meanwhile Biontech chief executive Ugur Sahin has told German news agency DPA it will be clear by the beginning of January if the vaccine also works against the coronavirus variant now doing the rounds in Britain. He said he is optimistic this will be the case.
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