Friday 30 September 2022

Over-60s urged to coronavirus vaccine top-up as new cases mount

A test and vaccination centre in Amsterdam. Photo:

Healthcare minister Ernst Kuipers has called on the general public to stick to the basic coronavirus rules and urged the over-60s who have not yet had a second booster vaccination to come forward.

So far, just 40% to 59% of people entitled to a fourth vaccination (herhaalprik) have taken up the offer, depending on where they live.

Extra measures to control the spread of the virus are not yet needed, the minister told reporters after a meeting of cabinet ministers which was called to discuss the rising infection rate.

The number of positive tests recorded by regional health board testing centres, which focus on nursing staff and people who need an official document to travel, has risen 70% over the past week, and more people have also been hospitalised with serious complaints.

The increase makes the basic rules more relevant again, Kuipers said. ‘Wash your hands, ventilate closed spaces and keep your distance where possible,’ he said. People should also be especially careful around those with vulnerable health.

The minister said he was not surprised by the rise in cases because ‘we know the virus has not gone’. However, the impact of the flare up on hospital staff and absenteeism rates is currently the most pressing cause for concern, he said.

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