Corona Vaccine Inoculation Drive: Netherlands’ healthcare system is so gripped in bureaucracy that it is finding it difficult to justify the eminent delay in the provision of vaccinations to the Dutch. The country has started to receive a trickle of the vaccine that was already being used in the UK for inoculations.
An emergency debate in the parliament recently saw the opposition blaming the government for the eminent delays. This comes as a surprise because the country is well known for excellent health care budgets and a healthy life-work index. Apparently, the health care facilities in Netherlands have not been able to manage the surging number of cases of corona virus infected patients.
The Dutch Health Minister, Hugo De Jonge has justified the delays, as Dutch choice to ‘go slow and pay it safe’ than act hastily as the UK did by cutting corners and wishing for a quick solution. The EU Commission took rather long to zero on the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccination.
This week, Mr. Jonge changed his stance and accepted that ‘over-agility’ could cost Dutch lives after all. Dutch was banking on the Astra Zeneca Oxford led vaccine whose efficacy rate varies between 60-90percent. It can be stored in normal refrigeration. Netherlands had not made any arrangements to accommodate the next better vaccine candidate, Pfizer or Moderna for that matter. The latter had arrived in end of December.
Infrastructural and then IT system glitches is what has delayed the Netherlands to start a country wide inoculation drive. They now plan to start theirs from January 18, 2021.
Netherlands was one of the few nations to have used rather relaxed lockdown norms. Their mask mandatory ruling has only been put into effect in December. The country is now fighting record high number of contraction rates. The first to be inoculated will be health care workers. The Dutch health ministry has confirmed that an initial 30,000 vaccines will be made available for a select group of healthcare workers.
The eminent delay has been attributed to primitive IT systems that are now being upgraded. Also, the ministry has confirmed that they are spending energy in training call-centre staff on the scripts to use with people booking their vaccinations.