Coronavirus vaccination

In autumn 2024 a new round of coronavirus vaccinations will start. The target groups are people aged 60 and over, people who receive an invitation for the annual flu jab and healthcare workers. Vaccination will keep them well-protected against hospital admission and/or death due to COVID-19. Anyone else who wishes to get vaccinated, for example to protect an at-risk family member or on the advice of their doctor, can also do so.

The dates between which vaccinations will be available will be announced in the first half of 2024.

People with a referral from their doctor

If you have a referral from your doctor you can get vaccinated against coronavirus at any time. Call the municipal health service (GGD) on 0800 7070 to make an appointment.

If you want to be vaccinated with the updated Novavax vaccine, you can call 0800 0174. This vaccine is available at a limited number of GGD locations. 

Coronavirus vaccination no longer necessary during pregnancy

The risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and giving birth prematurely is smaller than at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. This is because a large part of the population has already developed broad immunity against the virus. The Omicron variant also makes people less ill. It is no longer necessary for pregnant women to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

But if you are eligible for the annual flu jab or you are a healthcare worker, you are advised to get vaccinated in autumn 2024. This also applies if you are pregnant. Getting vaccinated against coronavirus during pregnancy is safe.

Coronavirus vaccination and post-COVID syndrome

Post-COVID syndrome refers to health problems that continue long after a coronavirus infection. Vaccination reduces the risk of developing post-COVID syndrome, but it can still happen. The risk of developing post-COVID syndrome after an infection with the Omicron variant is smaller than with other variants. 

Much is still unclear about what causes post-COVID syndrome, what type of immunity offers protection against it, and what increases the risk of post-COVID syndrome. That is why the Health Council of the Netherlands advises against vaccinating everyone as a means of preventing post-COVID syndrome.

People aged 60 and over, healthcare workers and people who receive an invitation for the annual flu jab can get a coronavirus vaccination every autumn. 

If you have post-COVID syndrome and are in one of these target groups, you can get a coronavirus vaccination during the autumn vaccination campaign. 

Not everyone with post-COVID syndrome needs a coronavirus vaccination

If you have post-COVID syndrome and are not in one of the target groups for the autumn vaccination campaign, you do not need a coronavirus vaccination. That is what the Health Council of the Netherlands says. 

While vaccination reduces the risk of hospital or ICU admission, or death due to coronavirus infection, there is no evidence that these risks are higher for people with post-COVID syndrome. 

Nor is it clear if post-COVID symptoms get worse after a new infection. Coronavirus vaccination provides partial and temporary protection. You can still get infected even if you have been vaccinated. There is not enough evidence that vaccination stops post-COVID symptoms getting worse after a new infection.

Two types of vaccine

Vaccination is now carried out using the BioNTech/Pfizer Omicron XBB 1.5 mRNA vaccine (in Dutch). This vaccine gives the best available protection against the Omicron XBB coronavirus variants that are currently circulating.

People who cannot or do not wish to be vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine can opt for the Novavax protein-based vaccine. Novavax has adapted its vaccine to protect against XBB variants.

The vaccines may be updated for the autumn 2024 round of vaccinations. Once a decision has been made on this, more information will be announced.

Help prevent coronavirus transmission

Respiratory infections caused by flu viruses, coronavirus or RS virus for example can make people very ill. People with underlying health issues and older people have a higher risk of becoming severely ill from coronavirus or the flu. But a viral infection can also cause prolonged symptoms in people without underlying health issues. This is the case with post-COVID syndrome, for example.

That’s why it’s still important to follow the advice for preventing respiratory infections. This helps protect everyone, including people with health issues.

Coughing, sneezing, a sore throat and a stuffy or runny nose are signs of respiratory infection.

  • Stay at home if you are ill.
  • If your symptoms are mild, ask your manager if you can work from home.
  • If you have symptoms, avoid physical contact with people who could become seriously ill from a cold or flu virus. Wear a face mask if physical contact is necessary, for example, when providing care.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow, and wash your hands with soap thoroughly and regularly (you should always do this, even if you are in good health).
  • Ventilate indoor spaces well.