Issue 32, 13 October 2021
The newsletter on COVID-19 vaccination is an RIVM publication with up-to-date information for professionals involved in COVID-19 vaccination.
Progress report on the COVID-19 vaccination campaign
From 6 October on, a specific group of people who have severely impaired immunity will receive their invitation for a third vaccination against COVID-19. These are patients who are being treated by a medical specialist for a specific condition or receiving certain prescription medication.
Municipal Public Health Services administer 20 millionth COVID-19 vaccination
On Tuesday 5 October, the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) administered the 20 millionth vaccination against COVID-19. “This is a very impressive number, and an achievement we can be proud of,” said André Rouvoet, chairman of GGD GHOR Nederland, in an interview on NPO-1 radio show Spraakmakers.
European Medicines Agency (EMA)
The COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna are now also registered for an extra dose (third jab) or booster dose. Read the recommendations of EMA’s human medicines committee, and the subsequent recommendations of the Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG-MEB).
Frequently asked questions
COVID-19 vaccination in combination with other vaccinations
Do you have an appointment for another vaccination (such as a vaccination against HPV, flu or pneumococcal disease)?
Then schedule your COVID-19 vaccination appointment at least 14 days before, or at least 7 days after the other vaccination. If you have any adverse events following immunisation, this makes it easier to determine which vaccination is causing the adverse reactions.
New Q&As added on the RIVM website
New Q&As on questions and background information for people with impaired immunity have been added on the RIVM website.
Q: I received an invitation. For medical reasons, I am unable to travel to a GGD vaccination site on my own or with assistance.
A: If you are unsure if you will be able to travel to a GGD vaccination site, please call the GGD appointment centre (via the telephone number listed in your invitation) to discuss the options. If you are unable to travel to the site even with assistance, then you can contact your GP to discuss other alternatives.
Q: I have already had COVID-19. Do I still need a third vaccination?
A: Yes. People who have impaired immunity may not have the same protection after a previous infection, compared to others. For that reason, it is better to get fully vaccinated, even if you already had COVID-19. Most adults receive a single vaccination after having previously had COVID-19. People with impaired immunity are advised to get two vaccinations even after a previous infection, to achieve optimal protection resulting from vaccination. If you are in the group of patients invited to receive a third vaccination, the recommendation is for you to get the third vaccination as well.
Q: I have been invited to receive a third vaccination, but I have not had my second vaccination yet.
A: You must make an appointment for your second vaccination first. You cannot get the third vaccination until after that. There must be at least 28 days between the second and third vaccinations. If you have received one vaccination with the single-dose Janssen vaccine, you can use the invitation letter to make an appointment.
The following Q&A has been expanded:
Q: Why will I not receive an invitation for a third vaccination, even though I am taking immunosuppressant medication, or have a health condition that causes my immune system to respond less strongly?
A: Medical specialists have seen in studies of immunocompromised patients that many patients do have a sufficient immune response to the vaccinations. That means that reasonable or good protection against COVID-19 can be expected and a third vaccination is not necessary. These patients will therefore not receive an invitation for the third vaccination. The third vaccination is only offered to patients for whom the medical specialists believe, or know, that they are insufficiently protected after the previous two vaccinations.
Are you absolutely sure that you are supposed to be invited, but have not received an invitation by the end of October? Keep an eye on this web page. By the end of October, it will be clear whether some people still need to be invited, and how that will happen.
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).
In Section 8.3, a clarification has been added regarding evaluation of whether a COVID-19 from another country can be considered equivalent to the COVID-19 vaccines that are used in the Netherlands.
New informative materials about COVID-19 vaccination available in other languages
New youth campaign
On 6 October, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) launched a new video campaign focusing on teenagers and young adults. In the videos (currently only in Dutch), GGD infectious disease specialist Ashis Brahma adopts a creatively thrilling approach specifically for this target audience, answering such questions as: “why get vaccinated if you’re young and healthy?”, “what about side-effects?” and “do the vaccines affect pregnancy and fertility?”. The videos are distributed through social media.
Watch the videos here:
A special landing page has also been developed for young adults (18-35 years), currently only available in Dutch.
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.