SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Teenagers who are due to receive their second Covid-19 vaccination dose in the second half of August can have the shot two weeks earlier, the health ministry has decided.
Anyone aged 12 to 17 with a second jab scheduled for August 16 or later can call the national vaccine line 0800 7070 to book a new appointment. The ministry is also sending SMS messages advising them of the policy change.
Health minister Hugo de Jonge said there were enough doses of the Pfizer vaccine available to allow teenagers to be given both doses sooner. The decision means more children will be fully vaccinated by the start of the new school year, which for northern provinces is August 23.
De Jonge announced the decision to cut the interval from 35 days to 21 at a press conference last week, but initially said people who had already been vaccinated once would not receive the second dose earlier.
The gap between doses for the Moderna vaccine, which was recently approved for 12 to to 17-year-olds by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), remains 28 days. The Dutch health council (Gezondheidsraad) is still assessing Moderna for teenagers.