Issue 23, 2 July 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
As of today, the first young people (born in 2004) in the age group of 12-17 years can make an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination (see also the Health Council advisory report and the Minister’s decision below). They will be vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Advisory reports of the Health Council
The Health Council advises that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 should be made available to young people aged 12-17 years who want to use it. Although children and adolescents usually have a mild case of COVID-19, a coronavirus infection can also lead to a more serious course of illness in this age group. So far, about 100 young people have been hospitalised and two have died. In rare cases, COVID-19 can also lead to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome – Children (MIS-C), a severe generalised inflammatory reaction affecting multiple organ systems (including the heart and digestive organs) that can be life-threatening. This complication has been diagnosed in 83 children and adolescents to date. Children and adolescents, like adults, may also develop long-term symptoms (Long COVID). In addition to the direct and indirect health benefits (such as lower risk of more restrictive measures) for the young people themselves, there are also health benefits for the population as a whole. Vaccination of this age group is expected to help curb any potential winter resurgence of the epidemic, and thus also reduce the burden of disease in adults.
The Health Council had already advised COVID-19 vaccination for young people aged 16 and 17 years old who are in the medical high-risk groups and young people aged 12-17 years with health problems or in the context of ring vaccination.
Ministerial decree on vaccination strategy
The Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) has decided to follow the advice of the Health Council. This means that all young people aged 12 and over (birth cohorts 2004 to 1 July 2009) will have the opportunity to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, if they want to.
The Minister had previously indicated that a separate route for selecting young people with obesity and young people who are eligible in the context of ring vaccination would still be developed. Now that the option of inviting all young people aged 12-17 years is available within the very near future, these young people can also make an appointment as soon as their age cohort has its turn.
Updated implementation guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination
The implementation guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination 2021 have been updated. The latest version of the implementation guidelines is always available online (in Dutch). Section 1.3 outlines all major changes compared to the previous version; more minor interim changes are listed under Version Management (at the end of the document).
New name for the Moderna vaccine
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has a new name: Spikevax®.
For people who are considering their options for vaccination, or who want more background information, the website at coronavaccinatie.nl has several blog posts (in Dutch) featuring experts in different fields who share facts, explanations and their first-hand experiences about COVID-19 vaccination.
A number of videos have been produced especially for young people in the Netherlands, which address questions that are specifically relevant to younger age groups:
Many healthcare professionals are involved in the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Henrike is a paediatrician who provides medical supervision at the vaccination site. In this video, she explains how she contributes: “We’re all going for it together, heading towards the end of this pandemic.”
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 email@example.com.
Private citizens can call the public information number 0800 - 1351 with their questions.