At the start of the autumn round, from mid-September 2022, the first group to be offered a repeat vaccination against COVID-19 was people with an elevated risk of a severe course of illness and care workers who have contact with patients and/or clients. In the Health & Welfare professional sector, vaccination coverage for the autumn round of COVID-19 vaccinations varies widely per sub-sector. Coverage for the entire sector works out to 28% of the people who had previously received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) of all people in the medical high-risk group that had been vaccinated previously also received the repeat vaccination in autumn 2022. This emerged from an RIVM study linking the national vaccination registry (CIMS) to data from Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
The study looked at vaccination coverage for the autumn round of COVID-19 vaccinations among people who had previously received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. Based on CIMS data up to 3 January 2023, research showed that vaccination coverage for the autumn round was highest in the sub-sector of University Medical Centres (41%). Vaccination coverage was lowest in the sub-sector of Childcare, including nursery schools (12%). The average vaccination coverage for the autumn round in the entire care sector works out to 28%. This is lower than vaccination coverage for the basic series (83%) and for the booster vaccination (61%), even though those coverage figures are for everyone in the sector, not just for people who had previously received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. In other words, the actual difference is even higher. In this study, it was not possible to differentiate between people who do or do not have contact with patients/clients in the course of their work. Because not everyone gave permission to share their vaccination data with RIVM, vaccination coverage for the autumn 2022 round of COVID-19 vaccinations is slightly underestimated.
Vaccination coverage for medical risk groups and high-risk groups
On the reference date (18 September 2022), the population of the Netherlands included an estimated 5.3 million people who are in medical risk groups. Among these people, vaccination coverage for the autumn round was 56%. Vaccination coverage in the medical high-risk groups (2.4 million people) was 69%.
Vaccination coverage was higher in proportion to age. The high vaccination coverage among medical risk groups and high-risk groups can be attributed in part to the fact that older people are relatively more likely to be in those risk groups.
This estimated vaccination coverage among medical risk groups and high-risk groups was made based on data held by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). This is an estimate of the group of people who were actually invited by their GP; data on who those people are is not available at the national level.
28% of people under 60 in medical risk groups (1.3 million people) received a COVID-19 vaccination in the autumn round. Vaccination coverage among people under 60 who are not in medical risk groups was 16%.
The relatively low vaccination coverage for the autumn round compared to the previous rounds of COVID-19 vaccinations can be attributed in part to people who were not yet eligible for the vaccination because they had recently had COVID-19. High vaccination coverage among care workers and people in medical risk groups remains important to ensure the best possible protection for themselves and others. Especially among medical risk groups and high-risk groups, high vaccination coverage for the autumn round of COVID-19 vaccinations is important in order to reduce the risk of hospital admission due to COVID-19, as evidenced by the recent RIVM report.