Colophon

3 May 2021

The newsletter on COVID-19-vaccination is an RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment  publication with up-to-date information for professionals involved in COVID-19 vaccination.

Progress report on the COVID-19 vaccination campaign

The number of estimated vaccinations is now over 5 million. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) have called on all people over 65 (born in 1955 and before) who have not yet been vaccinated to schedule a vaccination appointment.

The first people born in 1962 will be invited for COVID-19 vaccination this week. They will be vaccinated by the GGD with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Due to an administrative error, 40,000 people born in 1963 received an invitation for vaccination too early by mistake.

Second ordering app for COVID-19

In mid-May, RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment will start using a second ordering app for COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination supplies. The current SNPG ordering app was designed for annual orders of seasonal flu vaccines and pneumococcal vaccines by general practitioners and nursing homes. The SNPG app was expanded for use by multiple groups of vaccinators, to support COVID-19 vaccinations. A second RIVM ordering app will now be added, which offers more flexibility in the ordering process. GPs and nursing homes will continue to place their orders in the SNPG app. Other implementing parties, such as hospitals and GGDs, will gradually transition to the new RIVM app. If this applies to you, you will be informed of this change in good time. At that time, you will receive the necessary instructions to place your COVID-19 vaccine order securely and easily.

Frequently asked questions

Can I contact RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment to arrange a different vaccine for my patient?

No, that is not possible. The government assesses which vaccine is suitable for a specific target group based on national and international recommendations. Since we want to vaccinate as many people as possible for public health reasons, it is unfortunately not possible to arrange exceptions to the vaccination strategy on an individual basis, or to request a different vaccine. See also.

My patient has had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. Can this patient be vaccinated?

Anaphylactic reaction after another vaccine, medicine, wasp sting, bee sting or food product is not a contraindication, but it is a reason to implement a longer observation period of 30 minutes after vaccination. See also. Do NOT give the patient an antihistamine as a preventive measure, as this will mask an incipient anaphylactic reaction.

My patient has a history of thrombosis or embolism. Is this a contraindication for the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Thrombosis or embolism in a patient’s medical history is not a contraindication for the AstraZeneca vaccine. The very rare and severe adverse reaction that can occur after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine consists of a combination of thrombosis with thrombocytopaenia and is not more prevalent in people with a history of thrombosis or embolism. More information can be found in a separate Q&A on this topic.

Updated implementation guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination

The implementation guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination 2021 have been updated. It is important to note that an interval of 12 weeks or more (and preferably not less than 10 weeks) between the first and second dose is required for Vaxzevria® (the AstraZeneca vaccine). The latest version of the implementation guidelines is always available online (in Dutch). Section 1.3 outlines the main changes compared to the previous version; more minor interim changes are listed under Version Management (at the end of the document).

Webinar on thrombosis after vaccination and follow-up care after COVID-19

Would you like to know more about thrombosis after vaccination, the Dutch vaccination policy, and guidance for long-term symptoms after COVID-19? Then watch the webinar for general practitioners and other healthcare professionals that was organised by MedicalScholing.nl on Wednesday, 28 April 2021 (only available in Dutch). Register for the webinar free of charge via this link. The course is accredited until 31 May at 18.00 hrs. The accreditation overview is available here.

Public communication

Professor Ton de Boer, chairman of the Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG-MEB), answers 6 questions about the AstraZeneca vaccine (only in Dutch).

Editors

Editors: Vaccination implementation, National Coordination Centre for Communicable Diseases Control (LCI).

For questions and/or comments about this newsletter, healthcare professionals can send a message to vaccin-covid@rivm.nl.

Private citizens can call the public information number 0800 - 1351 with their questions.