De Jonge: if its the right thing, vaccination starts around January 4

If everything goes well, around 4 January the first people in the Netherlands will be vaccinated against the coronavirus. This is what Minister De Jonge says in response to the report that the European Medicine Agency EMA has begun to assess the first coronavaccins.

โ€œ The vaccine is within reach and we are on the verge of a new phase,โ€ says the Minister of Health. โ€œIt is now up to EMA to work carefully. We make sure were ready as soon as the green light comes.โ€

The strategy is that care workers, the elderly and vulnerable are the first to come. But De Jonge points out that the evaluation may still show that the vaccine is less effective for โ€œthe oldest elderlyโ€, for example. Then the strategy needs to be adjusted in due course.

It may be that eventually the strategy still needs to be adjusted, explains De Jonge:

The first vaccine, Biontech/PFIZER, will be delivered this month. It is about one million doses with which some 450,000 people can be vaccinated. EEA shall state its effectiveness and safety requirements no later than 29 December. Thus, shortly thereafter, vaccination can be started. In the first quarter, more than 1.6 million doses of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine are expected to be delivered.

The Moderna vaccine is also at the discretion of the EMA, which expects that outcome in mid-January. In the first quarter Moderna thinks it will be able to deliver 400,000 doses to the Netherlands. The Ministry reports that larger quantities from different vaccine developers are expected to come to the Netherlands in the second and third quarters.