Specific group of people with a severe immune system disorder to get third COVID-19 vaccine dose

If you have a severe immune system disorder, you may not have built up sufficient initial immunity after 2 vaccine doses. In October 2021 you received an invitation from your hospital to get a third primary vaccine dose.

This is not the same as the booster vaccination.

People who can get a third primary dose

You should have received an invitation to get a third vaccine dose if:

  • you have a severe immune system disorder; and
  • you are receiving specialist treatment; and
  • you are aged 12 or over.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has issued a  list of specific patient groups who are eligible for a the third vaccine dose. In total between 200,000 and 400,000 people are eligible.

Invitation for third primary dose in October 2021

In October 2021 you received an invitation from your attending physician to get a third vaccine dose. The invitations were not all sent at the same time, but spread over several weeks. The invitation tells you how to make an appointment for your third primary dose. You can do this until 30 January 2022 at the latest.

mRNA vaccine at GGD vaccination centres

You can get your third dose at a vaccination centre run by the municipal health service (GGD). You can either make an appointment or go to a location where you can get vaccinated without an appointment. The third primary dose will be an mRNA vaccine: Moderna or BioNTech/Pfizer. It does not matter which vaccine you received initially. No difference is expected in terms of either effectiveness or side-effects, so it has been decided that the different vaccines can be combined. This is called heterologous vaccination.

The difference between a third primary dose and a booster shot

For people with a severe immune system disorder, three primary doses of vaccine are needed to produce a good initial immune response. Some people in this group need this third primary dose in order to be properly protected against severe illness or death from COVID-19. But some are still not properly protected against COVID-19, even after the third primary dose, but it is difficult to predict who will be properly protected and who will not.

For most other people, 1 or 2 primary doses are enough to achieve good initial immunity. The third primary dose for people with a severe immune system disorder is not the same as a booster vaccination for other people.

The third vaccine dose is part of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccinations. It is important to also get a booster shot. You can do this 3 months after your third primary dose.

The third primary dose is not a booster shot and will not be registered as a booster shot in the Corona Check app.

Extra dose and coronavirus entry pass (or DCC)

If you receive an extra dose of the vaccine, your Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) for travel within the EU and your coronavirus entry pass for use in the Netherlands will remain valid. You can add the extra vaccine dose to your existing certificate. You do not have to wait 2 weeks to get a valid QR code. Before travelling, always check the travel advice for the country you wish to visit (NetherlandsWorldwide.nl).