mcloudy.png
Sunday June 20th, 2021 5:02PM

Dutch begin COVID-19 vaccinations; last EU nation to do so

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Nearly two weeks after most other European Union nations, the Netherlands on Wednesday began its COVID-19 vaccination program, with nursing home staff and front-line workers in hospitals first in line for the shot.

Sanna Elkadiri, a nurse at a nursing home for people with dementia, was the first to receive a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a mass vaccination center in Veghel, 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of the capital, Amsterdam.

“This is a very important moment for me as a person who works in the care sector. You want to provide the care knowing that your clients are safe,” Elkadiri said. ”Without the vaccine that is not possible, but from now on I can do it."

The Dutch government has come under fierce criticism for its late start to vaccinations. Prime Minister Mark Rutte told lawmakers in a debate Tuesday that authorities had focused preparations on the easy-to-handle vaccine made by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, which hasn't yet been cleared for use in the EU, and not the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge didn't comment on the criticism as he spoke before Elkadiri rolled up the left sleeve of her purple nurse's uniform to receive the first shot. Instead, he looked forward to a future with the virus under control.

“Finally, after 10 months of crisis, today we are starting to end this crisis," De Jonge said. But he warned that, "it will take a while before we have all the misery behind us. ”

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which requires ultra-cold storage before it's used, is the only shot that has been approved so far by the European Medicines Agency. On Wednesday, the agency was considering approving another coronavirus vaccine, one made by Moderna.

“I’m very disappointed that we are two weeks behind other countries,” Rutte said in the Dutch parliament.

The country's public health institute said that about 300,000 carers and hospital staff are first in line for shots. Two more large-scale vaccination centers are due to open Friday and by the end of next week, 25 should be open across the country, the institute said.

Health authorities plan to be able to vaccinate a maximum of 66,000 care workers per week from Jan. 18.

In a tweet thanking staff involved in the rollout, Dutch King Willem-Alexander called the start of vaccinations “a turning point that provides hope of a way out of this crisis.”

The Netherlands is in the midst of a five-week tough lockdown imposed when infection rates were spiking across the country. In recent days, infection rates have been edging lower, but the country's public health institute said Tuesday that the lockdown hasn't yet produced a clear effect on infection rates.

Nearly 12,000 people are confirmed to have died of COVID-19 in the Netherlands since the pandemic started, though the true number is higher because not all people who died with symptoms were tested.

Andre Rouvoet, chairman of the umbrella organization of local health authorities, welcomed the first vaccinations, which were aired live on Dutch television.

“It is symbolic of the hundreds of thousands — millions — of vaccinations that will be administered in the Netherlands in coming months,” he said.

__

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage:

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Health, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hong Kong arrests 53 activists under national security law
Hong Kong police have arrested 53 former lawmakers and activists in the largest move against the city's pro-democracy movement since a national security law was imposed last June
3:04AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Alabama's Smith becomes 1st WR to win Heisman in 29 years
DeVonta Smith of Alabama is the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy in 29 seasons
2:47AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Week 17 scoring bonanza caps record-setting season
The Week 17 scoring bonanza provided the perfect finish to a record-setting season on offense
2:45AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Kim opens North Korean congress by admitting policy failures
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has admitted that his economic development plans have failed as he opens the first full ruling party congress in five years
1:59AM ( 1 hour ago )
Georgia tallying final votes in key Senate runoff elections
Candidates are locked in tight races as Georgia officials tallied the final votes in two critical Senate elections that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and, in turn, the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda
1:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
About 50 Hong Kong activists arrested under new security law
Hong Kong police have arrested about 50 former lawmakers and activists in the largest move against the city's pro-democracy movement since a national security law was imposed last June
1:39AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
EXPLAINER: Why Trump's ballot 'dump' tweet is misleading
As votes were being tabulated in two tight Senate runoff elections in Georgia, President Donald Trump predicted election officials in the state would release a large tranche of results that would overwhelm the Republican candidates
11:48PM ( 3 hours ago )
GEORGIA TAKEAWAYS: Georgia is legit purple; Trump lingers
Ballots are still being counted in the Georgia runoffs that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and the scope of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda
11:44PM ( 3 hours ago )
Georgia tallies votes as US Senate control hangs in balance
Georgia officials are counting the final votes of the nation’s turbulent 2020 election season as polls closed in two critical races that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and, in turn, the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda
11:01PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
The Latest: Thailand to expand virus testing at factories
Authorities in Thailand say they plan to expand coronavirus testing to thousands of factories in a province near Bangkok as they reported 365 new cases around the country and one new death
2:26AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Asia Today: Tokyo cases hit record as gov't mulls emergency
Tokyo is reporting a daily record of 1,591 coronavirus cases as the national government prepares to declare a state of emergency this week to cope with a new wave of infections
2:17AM ( 55 minutes ago )
Neil Young becomes latest artist to sell stake in his songs
Veteran rock star Neil Young has become the latest artist to strike gold with his song catalogue
2:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Warnock makes history with Senate win as Dems near majority
Democrat Raphael Warnock has won one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs, becoming the first Black senator in his state’s history and putting the Senate majority within the party's reach
3:07AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Hong Kong arrests 53 activists under national security law
Hong Kong police have arrested 53 former lawmakers and activists in the largest move against the city's pro-democracy movement since a national security law was imposed last June
3:04AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Alabama's Smith becomes 1st WR to win Heisman in 29 years
DeVonta Smith of Alabama is the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy in 29 seasons
2:47AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Week 17 scoring bonanza caps record-setting season
The Week 17 scoring bonanza provided the perfect finish to a record-setting season on offense
2:45AM ( 27 minutes ago )
GEORGIA TAKEAWAYS: Black turnout fuels Warnock victory
The Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, has defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a special election for an unexpired term for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia
2:41AM ( 31 minutes ago )