About 30,000 acute care employees will receive the corona vaccine from pharmaceuticals Pfizer and BioNTech ‘in the short term’, the Ministry of Health reports Saturday. The first vaccinations will take place as soon as possible, but probably not before January 8th.
Initially, the first vaccines were only for care workers at nursing homes, in care for the disabled, community nursing and in support under the Social Support Act. Now the group is expanded to include nurses and doctors in intensive care, emergency care, COVID wards and ambulance staff.
The reason for this is the “worrying situation in acute care”, partly due to the many reports of illness as a result of the corona pandemic. Ministers Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) and Tamara van Ark (Medical Care and Sport) have therefore made agreements with Ernst Kuipers, chairman of the National Network Acute Care (LNAZ).
Earlier this week, Kuipers publicly argued for the vaccination of essential personnel in hospitals, as a result of which De Jonge came under fire. According to Kuipers, due to the increased pressure on hospitals, it is important that sufficient healthcare personnel remains available.
Plan of action is still being worked out
The LNAZ will soon come up with a plan of action. This is done in collaboration with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). According to the ministry, the aim is to get clarity on Monday about when vaccination of employees of acute care can be started.
Due to the preparations, the first hospital employees will not be vaccinated before January 8, Kuipers says NPO Radio 1. On that day, the GGDs will start vaccinating the other healthcare personnel. This is done at three of the 25 injection sites in the country.
Employees of acute care can probably be vaccinated in about ten hospitals. It is not yet known which hospitals are involved. The Ministry of Health only reports that these will be spread over land.
The Netherlands is the only country that has not yet started using the Pfizer vaccine that was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on December 21. The first vaccinations in the European Union took place at the end of December.