The COVID-19 vaccination is available until 22 December 2023 for people who have a higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. This includes people over 60, people who are pregnant, and care workers who have direct contact with patients or clients. COVID-19 vaccination gives protection against severe illness and hospital admission.
The COVID-19 vaccination will continue to be available after that for people who are pregnant or have been referred by a doctor.
People who have a higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19 can get vaccinated. This applies to the following groups:
- People aged 60 years and older;
- People aged 18 to 60 years who are invited every year to get the seasonal flu vaccine. This includes people who have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or lung conditions;
- Adults and children in medical high-risk groups. This includes people with impaired immunity;
- Pregnant people;
- Care workers who have direct patient and/or client contact.
Vaccination may also be offered in individual cases, for example as recommended by a doctor, or for people who have a vulnerable family member.
When you have COVID-19 (an infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus), it gives you stronger immunity to the virus. Your recent infection means that your immunity to the virus is probably high. A COVID-19 vaccination will not offer much added protection. But if you do get vaccinated anyway, it is fine. If you have questions about your medical situation, please contact your treating physician.
You will receive the BioNTech/Pfizer XBB.1.5 vaccine. People in the Netherlands who cannot get a COVID-19 vaccination with an mRNA vaccine for medical reasons, or do not want an mRNA vaccine, can get a COVID-19 vaccination with Novavax. It is not yet known when the Novavax manufacturer will offer an updated protein subunit vaccine. More information will be provided once that becomes clear.
The vaccine was approved for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in August 2023. The current vaccine works in the same way as the original mRNA vaccines. The vaccine has been adapted to the new SARS-CoV-2 variant. The side effects of this vaccine are similar and do not last long: a sore arm, tiredness, a low-grade fever, one day of feeling poorly.
The COVID-19 vaccination is especially effective in preventing severe illness, hospital admission or death. The vaccination also offers partial protection against an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Yes. The immune system often responds more strongly if there is a longer time between two vaccinations. That is why the interval between 2 vaccinations against COVID-19 is at least 3 months.
The COVID-19 vaccination helps your body produce many antibodies within a short time frame. This is necessary, because the immune response that you built up from previous COVID-19 vaccinations is less likely to recognise the new Omicron variants. Vaccines that more closely match the current Omicron variants offer more effective protection against serious illness. The updated mRNA vaccine helps you make more antibodies against the XBB variant, so 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.
People in the Netherlands who cannot get a COVID-19 vaccination with an mRNA vaccine for medical reasons, or do not want an mRNA vaccine, can get a COVID-19 vaccination with Novavax. The updated protein subunit vaccine made by Novavax was approved by the EMA in late October 2023. It is not yet known when this updated protein subunit vaccine will be available. More information will be provided once that becomes clear.
Side effects may occur after vaccination. The side effects of a COVID-19 vaccination do not last long: a sore arm, tiredness, a low-grade fever, one day of feeling poorly. These side effects are very common. Lareb tracks reports of these side effects. Read more about the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination.
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 vaccines. The letter to Parliament by the outgoing Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) offers more details.
Yes, you are advised to get a COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. Pregnant people have a higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. This can have consequences for the mother and (unborn) child. The mRNA vaccine is safe, also during pregnancy. Read more on the RIVM page about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.
Please contact your family doctor (GP). Your GP can check if you can get a COVID-19 vaccination from the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs). The GP 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.