COVID-19 vaccination boosts immunity and protects against severe illness and hospital admission. In autumn 2024, there will be a new round of vaccination against COVID-19.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccination?

It is not necessary for everyone in the Netherlands to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Widespread protection against COVID-19 has been established in the general population by now. This has been achieved by vaccinations, previous SARS-CoV-2 infections or a combination of both. For that reason, people are only eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination if they have a referral from their treating physician. People who already had COVID-19 have sufficient immunity to the virus. A COVID-19 vaccination will not offer much added protection.

Who will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination?

  • People aged 60 years and older.
  • People aged 18 years and older who are invited to get the seasonal flu vaccine every year.
  • Care workers who have direct contact with vulnerable patients
  • People who would like to receive a COVID-19 vaccination for individual reasons, for example due to a vulnerable family member or as advised by a treating physician.

Pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccination

Pregnancy on its own is no longer a reason to get vaccinated. Are you pregnant? And is your treating physician recommending that you get a vaccination for another reason? Then you can be vaccinated. Vaccination with an mRNA vaccine is safe during pregnancy. Read more on the RIVM page about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.

In principle, people will be vaccinated with the XBB.1.5 vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNtech. This mRNA vaccine has been adapted to the Omicron variant XBB.1.5 of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. This vaccine works in the same way as the original mRNA vaccines. The side effects of this vaccine are similar and generally do not last long: a sore arm, tiredness, a low-grade fever, one day of feeling poorly. Read more on the RIVM page about the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination

The updated COVID-19 vaccination helps your body produce many antibodies against the XBB variant within a short time frame. This means that your immune system can more effectively recognise the XBB variant and protect you against serious illness. This also applies if you have previously had COVID-19 involving an infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The updated COVID-19 vaccination helps your body produce many antibodies against the XBB variant within a short time frame. This means that your immune system can more effectively recognise the XBB variant and protect you against serious illness. This also applies if you have previously had COVID-19 involving an infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

It is not yet clear if the vaccine will be updated before the autumn round of 2024. More information will be provided as soon as it is available.

People in the Netherlands who cannot get a COVID-19 vaccination with an mRNA vaccine for medical reasons, and people who do not want an mRNA vaccine, can get a COVID-19 vaccination with the Novavax vaccine.

In very rare cases, it may be better not to administer a COVID-19 vaccination for medical reasons, or to delay vaccination. These reasons may include:

  • fever on the day of the injection;
  • surgery that will be performed under anaesthetic;
  • a severe adverse reaction after a previous COVID-19 vaccination.

Are you unsure if it would be advisable to get the COVID-19 vaccination at this time? Then check with your treating physician. Read more on the RIVM page about COVID-19 vaccination during illness and medication use.

Have you previously had an allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccination? Then contact your treating physician. Your doctor can check if you can get a COVID-19 vaccination from the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs). The doctor may also decide to refer you to an allergy specialist (allergist). This depends on the nature of your allergic reaction. In that case, the allergist will decide if you can have a COVID-19 vaccination, and where: in hospital or at the GGD.

Yes, the 15-minute waiting period is recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the WHO for all COVID-19 vaccines. It is also listed in the package leaflet for all the COVID-19 vaccines. The letter to Parliament (in Dutch) by the outgoing Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) offers more details.

You can find an overview of your COVID-19 vaccinations at mijn.rivm.nl if you gave permission for data about your COVID-19 vaccinations to be registered. 

There is no reason not to get the injections at the same time or shortly after one another. For example, it is possible to get the COVID-19 vaccination at the same time as a vaccination from the National Immunisation Programme, or the maternal whooping cough vaccination.