Despite starting last in the EU with its coronavirus vaccination programme, some 7% of the Dutch have now had their first jab, propelling the Netherlands up the vaccination league tables, according to European figures.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says of the EU member states, only Malta (10%), Denmark (8.8%) and Finland (7.7%) have vaccinated a bigger proportion of their populations.
Bulgaria remains bottom of the list, with a vaccination rate so far of 3%. In total, nearly 43 million doses have been shipped to EU countries and over 30 milion people have been vaccinated, the ECDPC says.
The Leiden-developed Johnson & Johnson vaccine has now been approved for use in the US and is expected to be cleared by the Amsterdam-based European medicines agency on March 11.
The Netherlands has ordered 11.3 million doses of the single dose vaccine, of which three million will be in the first batch next quarter. The vaccine reaches maximum efficacy after 28 days.
‘The good thing about the Janssen vaccine is that the research involved some of the mutant forms,’ immunologist Huub Savelkoul told broadcaster NOS.
Outside people working in healthcare or with vulnerable health issues, the Netherlands is currently vaccinating people aged 60 to 64 with the AstraZeneca two-dose vaccine via their family doctors.
Britain, no longer a member of the EU, has the highest rate in Europe. More than 20 million people in Britain have now had their first jab and people over the age of 40 are on the vaccination list for March.
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