Safety and development of vaccines

When it comes to COVID‑19 vaccines, safety is paramount. Like all other vaccines, COVID‑19 vaccines must meet strict safety requirements. If there is any doubt about the safety of a particular vaccine, it will not be approved for use in the Netherlands. There are also strict rules regarding potential side effects. The benefits of the vaccine (the effectiveness) must outweigh the drawbacks (the side effects).

Approval of COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines must be safe, reliable and effective. This is assessed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG). Once approved, vaccines are closely monitored. A European system for monitoring vaccine safety is currently being developed.

Health Council of the Netherlands

The Health Council of the Netherlands also checks to see whether a vaccine meets all the requirements and is suitable for the target groups in question.

Rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines have been developed quickly by a range of manufacturers. There are several reasons why they have been able to do this:

  • All over the world, various manufacturers have been working to produce different COVID-19 vaccines and to share knowledge.
  • Researchers have been working on different stages of development simultaneously, rather than consecutively, to save time.
  • Independent regulatory authorities have been deploying additional staff and assessing interim research results.

RIVM vaccination register

A registration system records which vaccine you  have been given. For most vaccines, people require two doses of the same vaccine for optimal protection against COVID‑19. Registration is important, not just to invite people to get their second dose, but also to know how many people have already been vaccinated and whether the vaccine is safe and effective. Registration is voluntary and the register is subject to privacy regulations (in Dutch).