Dutch vaccination program against COVID-19

In 2021 everyone aged 18 and over in the Netherlands will be invited to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Being vaccinated will protect not only you, but also your family, friends and vulnerable people in your surroundings. Once the majority of people are immune to coronavirus, there won’t have to be so many coronavirus restrictions.

The first COVID-19 vaccines to be approved for use on the European market were developed by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna. These vaccines contain mRNA, which makes your body produce a protein that looks like a coronavirus protein. Your immune system gets triggered by this protein and makes antibodies against coronavirus. So if you come into contact with coronavirus in the future, you’ll be protected by those antibodies and will be very unlikely to get COVID-19.

The mRNA in the vaccine is broken down naturally by your body. mRNA vaccines can’t get into your DNA. So they can never change anything in your genes.

The BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna are about 95% effective. This means people who have been vaccinated are 95% less likely to get COVID-19 than people who haven’t been vaccinated. Not everybody reacts to vaccines in the same way. Some people still get ill, even if they’ve been vaccinated. But when that happens, their symptoms are less severe. The vaccines have also proved effective for people in higher-risk groups. There is no evidence that the vaccine is less effective against the new variants.

Even if you’ve had COVID-19, it’s still good to get vaccinated. Because having had the disease once doesn’t mean you can’t get it again.

Ministry responsible

Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport

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