Safety and development of coronavirus vaccines

Different types of COVID-19 vaccine work in different ways, but safety always comes first. The vaccines must meet strict conditions. 

How coronavirus vaccines work

Safety of COVID-19 vaccines

The safety of coronavirus vaccines comes first. Like all vaccines, they must meet strict conditions before they are authorised for use in the Netherlands. If there are any doubts about their safety, they will not be approved. There are also strict rules on side effects. The advantages of vaccination (effectiveness) must be greater than the disadvantages (possible side effects).

Pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) advises all pregnant women to get vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine (BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna). This also applies to the booster vaccination.

Side effects

The coronavirus vaccines have been tested on tens of thousands of people. Some people have muscle ache or a fever for a few days after being vaccinated. This is common with vaccines against other diseases, too. Side effects usually occur within 2 weeks.

It’s possible that unknown side effects might occur after vaccination against COVID-19. But the chance of this is very small. If you experience unknown side effects or you are worried, contact your family doctor. 

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).