Starting today, people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past six months can indicate when scheduling a vaccination appointment that they only want one vaccine dose. If the coronavirus infection did not occur until after the first vaccination, then the appointment for the second vaccination will go ahead as planned. People who already have an appointment to get vaccinated, and tested positive in the past six months, are asked to cancel the appointment for the second vaccination as soon as possible. The appointment can be cancelled directly through the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD), GP or hospital for people working in direct COVID care.
This change is the result of the Health Council’s advice to prevent unnecessary medical intervention. The advice applies to all three COVID-19 vaccines: AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.
Control question when making an appointment
When making the vaccination appointment, people are asked whether they tested positive for COVID-19 in the past six months. If they did, then an appointment can be made to get a single jab. People do not have to show proof of a positive test at this point in time, only to declare that they had a coronavirus infection in the past six months. Always keep the results of a positive test, since they may be requested later.
Cancel 2nd vaccination appointment on time
People who already scheduled an appointment for a second vaccination, and also had COVID-19 in the six months preceding their first vaccination, can cancel the appointment themselves. If they waive their second vaccination, they should cancel the appointment as soon as possible, so available vaccines can be used for other people. People who would like to receive a second vaccination despite having COVID-19 previously do not have to do anything. If the coronavirus infection did not occur until after the first vaccination, then the appointment for the second vaccination should still take place. More information on a single vaccination after coronavirus infection is available under frequently asked questions.
Exception for medical high-risk groups
The Health Council advises making exceptions for four categories in the the medical high-risk groups. As a precaution, they should be vaccinated twice, even if they had a coronavirus infection in the past six months. These groups are currently receiving their first vaccination in hospitals. This applies to people whose immune system is very seriously compromised. In addition, patients with a severe neurological disorder who have difficulty breathing and can travel to the vaccination site will also receive two vaccinations. In cases involving vulnerable clients in institutions, the physician will determine whether they should receive a second vaccination even after a previous coronavirus infection.
Health Council advises preventing treatment that is not medically necessary
On 8 March 2021, the Health Council of the Netherlands published an advisory report on vaccinating people who have had a recent coronavirus infection. Scientific research shows that the immunity acquired from having COVID-19 offers protection for at least six months. Vaccinating these people with a single dose, within those six months, will have the same effect as a second vaccination in people who have not had COVID-19, ensuring effective immunity and protection. That is why it is sufficient to give these people one vaccination.