RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment informs doctors and other care providers about the administration of the COVID-19 vaccinations in the Netherlands. Activities include arranging storage, transport and distribution of the vaccines, and developing a national registration system. 

For general information about the COVID-19 vaccination, see Government.nl.

When will I be vaccinated?

Vaccination against COVID-19 started in the Netherlands in January. It is not possible to say when you will be able to get the vaccination. The schedule may still change, for example due to delays in vaccine deliveries. The Vaccination Strategy outlines when the first people in the Netherlands will be vaccinated against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, by whom and with which vaccine. This schedule may still change.

Vaccination strategy

More information about the vaccination strategy is available at Government.nl.

Coordinating role for RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment in COVID-19 vaccination

RIVM is responsible for coordinating the storage and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the Netherlands (including the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, St Eustatius, Saba, Curaçao and St Maarten). RIVM has many years of experience with vaccinations as a result of the National Immunisation Programme and the seasonal flu jab. Based on that knowledge and experience, RIVM has been designated to coordinate implementation of the COVID-19 vaccinations.

RIVM is also responsible for communicating about the vaccines to the healthcare professionals implementing the vaccinations. These are the doctors and nurses at the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs), the occupational health and safety services (ARBO), GP practices, and care providers in institutions for disability care and nursing homes. 

That means that RIVM is doing the following in concrete terms:

  • Informing and facilitating doctors, nurses and other professionals with information about vaccination and for vaccination purposes. To this end, RIVM has developed implementation guidelines and an e-learning module (in Dutch). We also provide other resources and communication materials that help with implementation of the vaccinations. This includes information about the vaccines (on the website, via webinars and in a newsletter), documents such as consent statements, fact sheets, working instructions and invitations for the target groups to be vaccinated. 
  • Arranging safe storage locations, transport and distribution of the vaccines.
  • Developing a national registration system. This will help to keep track of important data on COVID-19 vaccination that will be important in controlling the epidemic:
    • Vaccination coverage: the number of people who have been vaccinated and the corresponding percentage of the Dutch population.
    • Safety: keeping track of the safety and side-effects of the vaccines.
    • Emergency situations: if something goes wrong, a doctor must be able to check who has been vaccinated with which vaccine.
    • Effectiveness of the vaccinations.
    • Data access: RIVM is also working on allowing people who have received vaccinations to view their own vaccination details from the register by logging in with DigiD. The register only retains the minimum required invitation and vaccination data, such as who received which vaccine and when. In case of objections, the vaccinated person can have their data deleted from RIVM records.

In the context of its task, RIVM works with organisations and transporters in the healthcare sector. Implementation is linked to vaccine delivery. Vaccination will take place in phases, because the vaccines will be delivered in the course of 2021.

Multiple organisations are involved in the COVID-19 vaccinations. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) decides on central procurement of the vaccines, and on who gets which vaccine and when. The Health Council provides advisory reports for those decisions. The Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG-MEB) evaluates the vaccines. The Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb keeps track of the side-effects. The Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) and general practitioners play a major role in vaccinating.