ECDC: The Netherlands has fourth-highest vaccination rate in EU
After a late start and a slow couple of weeks, the number of coronavirus vaccinations in the Netherlands has risen significantly over the past two weeks. According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the Netherlands now has the fourth-highest vaccination rate in the EU.
More and more people in the Netherlands are being vaccinated
Last week, the Netherlands finally reached the millionth jab milestone, with over 1,3 million people vaccinated as of February 28. According to the ECDC, seven percent of the adult population has received their first injection. Only three countries currently show a higher vaccination rate: Finland (7,7 percent), Denmark (8,8 percent) and Malta (10,1 percent).
Figures from the ECDC’s weekly report from February 21 showed that the Netherlands had only vaccinated 5,2 percent of its adult population. The latest ECDC figures from February 28 therefore show an increase of almost two percent in just one week.
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In spite of this significant progress, very few adults in the Netherlands have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus: only 1,8 percent have received both doses, compared to an EU average of between two and 3,5 percent.
Dutch government's coronavirus vaccination strategy
After significant criticism of the slow vaccination pace, the Dutch government decided to adjust its vaccination strategy. This change resulted in fewer doses being kept in stock for long periods of time. Now, doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines are only held for a maximum of five days before being rolled out, with the expectation that more doses will be delivered in time to administer the second jab.
At the time, acting Health Minister Hugo de Jonge also announced plans to have two million vaccinations carried out by the end of February. This goal has not been reached, but at the coronavirus press conference last week, De Jonge announced he was planning on accelerating the vaccination rate in the Netherlands, with hopes that as many as 2,5 million vaccinations will be carried out per week by April.