Sunday 24 January 2021

Vaccination programme to start on January 8, massive call centre opened

A former distribution centre in Veghel is being turned into a mass vaccination centre. Photo: Rob Engelaar ANP

The regional health board association GGD GHOR has opened an enormous call centre to start making appointments for the Netherlands’ coronavirus vaccination programme from Monday.

This weekend the cabinet revised its vaccination priority list to include acute care workers as well as nursing home staff and residents. Family doctors are also now considered a priority group.

Some 2,000 people will work via the call centre to set up appointments seven days a week, and from 8am to 8pm, the organisation said.

Vaccinations, carried out by some 350 to 400 people, will start on January 8 in Houten, Veghel and Rotterdam. The Amsterdam, Drenthe and Haaglanden regional health boards will follow on January 11 and the rest of the 25 regions on January 15.

All the phone workers have previous experience in working in the coronavirus test centres and have been trained in asking people key question to determine if they are suitable for particular vaccines, the organisation said.

Pharmaceuticals company Biontech Pfizer’s first delivery is enough to vaccinate 225,000 essential healthcare workers twice.

Once nursing home residents have been vaccinated, the focus will be on the disabled living at home and people over the age of 60, starting with the most elderly and vulnerable.

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