Verpleegkundige vaccineert man
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Second booster vaccination against COVID-19

As of November 2021, an initial COVID-19 booster vaccination is being offered to all persons over the age of 18. The booster vaccination restores a person’s protection against serious illness. Given the temporary effect of the booster vaccination, the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport has asked the Health Council of the Netherlands to investigate the need to offer a second booster vaccination to all adults.

In the view of the Health Council, this is not necessary. The Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is less pathogenic than earlier variants and the wave of infections is expected to peter out. For these reasons, the expected health benefits of a second booster vaccination for the general population are minimal.

That being said, the Health Council recommends offering a second booster vaccination to the most vulnerable adults. These are persons aged 70 or over, nursing home residents, adults with Down syndrome and adults with severe immune disorders. The reasons for this include an abundance of caution. There remains considerable uncertainty about the progression of the number of infections. Vulnerable groups are at greater risk of serious illness. Some of them received their initial booster vaccination around three months ago, after which time the protection level has decreased. As a result, an increase in the number of infections could lead to hospitalisations among these groups, despite the mild nature of the Omicron variant.