Dutch Health Council publishes advice on third coronavirus jab

Dutch Health Council publishes advice on third coronavirus jab

On September 14, the Health Council of the Netherlands issued its official advice for the administration of so-called booster shots: only offer an extra jab to those with serious immune system disorders.

Potential for third COVID-19 jab in the Netherlands

The Dutch government requested the council’s official advice on the matter before the summer, questioning whether it would be worthwhile to offer the adult population an extra dose in order to provide more (long-term) protection against COVID-19

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge was convinced that, as the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines has been proven to decrease with time, offering an extra jab would ensure the most vulnerable members of society are sufficiently protected against the virus. The Health Council, however, has said booster shots are only necessary for those who are extremely vulnerable to the virus in order to give their immune system a boost.

According to calculations, only around 200.000 people in the Netherlands will be eligible to receive a third jab, though the council has advised the GGD to prepare sufficient doses in order to offer other groups a booster shot "once there is a declining trend in vaccine effectiveness."

EMA and WHO emphasise there's no "urgent need" for booster shots

There is much debate as to the medical necessity of booster shots, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has emphasised that extra vaccine doses should be distributed across the world to countries without sufficient stock instead of being used to offer an extra dose in countries where the majority of adults are already fully vaccinated.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has also made it clear that, for the time being, “there is no urgent need for the administration of booster doses.” However, the agency is evaluating the existing data and research on the subject and an official decision is expected in the coming weeks. 

While the Dutch government is yet to make a decision, several countries across Europe have already invited more vulnerable members of the population to receive an additional jab. Everyone over the age of 50 in the United Kingdom will be invited to receive their third dose in the autumn, meanwhile the first vulnerable and elderly people in France and Belgium have already received their booster shot.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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