The demand for flu vaccines from general practitioners seems to exceed the number of available flu vaccines. That is why State Secretary Blokhuis, after advice from RIVM, has decided to ask healthy people aged between 60 and 69 years old not to accept the invitation for the flu vaccination at this time. This way, the most vulnerable people can get a flu jab.
People with a medical condition (diabetes, a heart, lung or kidney disease or a reduced resistance) and people from 70 years and older run more health risks when they get the flu. These people now receive the flu jab first. Healthy people between the ages of 60 and 69 can then receive the flu jab if there are flu jabs left over. That will become clear in December.
The flu vaccination is an essential preventive measure. Therefore, RIVM regrets that at this moment, not everyone who is invited and wants a flu jab can receive it. Of all the people invited for the flu vaccination, healthy people from 60 to 69 years old run the least health risks.
There is a chance that the upcoming flu season will be mild. The measures we take together against the novel coronavirus also help to reduce the spread of flu. This was previously visible in the southern hemisphere, where the flu season has already ended.
In the Netherlands, people over the age of 60 and people with a medical condition receive an invitation every year to get the flu jab. That is more than 6 million people. In recent years, about 3 million people received the flu jab.
In this unprecedented year of the novel coronavirus, more than half a million extra vaccines were ordered in the spring. From a survey among the target group, this seemed to be sufficient. However, practice shows that even more people now want a flu jab. The target group has been restricted to ensure that the most vulnerable people can receive the flu jab.