“Most GGDs are open to giving remaining vaccines to the target groups at risk,” affirms the GGD spokesperson for the GHOR umbrella. “They will not decide on their own who is eligible. They have to go through general practitioners.”
It turned out last week that GGD Noord-Limburg was the only health service working with a so-called “spill list”. This included painful, often fatal, cases who had been introduced by GPs from the area and who had yet to be addressed in regular vaccination planning. If the vaccine is left at the end of the day, they can be called up.
The new directive from the Ministry of Health appears to have ended this practice. But under pressure from other politicians, Public Health Minister Hugo de Jong suddenly turned into the parliamentary debate on Wednesday: GGDs are still being allowed to vaccinate those exposed to the spill, he said.
From that moment on, GGDs receive dozens of calls every day from patients who wish to be on the loot list. And although more and more health services are now compiling such a list, they do not want to determine who qualifies for it. Following the example of Limburg, the list should be made by general practitioners.
Most of the cases are horrific
GGD Fryslân has already asked the district’s general practitioners for a list of the five most horrific cases from their patient database. These people will be on the spill list and can be contacted between 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM to come and get an injection. GGD Fryslân estimates the number of “remaining vaccinations” to be at a maximum of twenty per day.
“In this way, GGD hopes to vaccinate the very vulnerable groups in Friesland, who are still far from the start of the department’s regular vaccination strategy,” says GGD Fryslân. Moreover, this way, the remaining vaccines also end up where you need them most.
GGDs Brabant-Zuidoost and the Utrecht region are also considering using the spill for the most vulnerable. “We’d love to take this group with us, but we just have to figure out how,” said a spokesperson for GGD Brabant-Zuidoost. Both GGDs want to avoid having to choose who to be put on a potential list. “Additionally, we find it important to report that there are only a few vaccines left each day,” says a spokesperson for GGD Brabant-Zuidoost. “We cannot promise people anything.”
For each GGD vaccine site (there are now about a hundred, the number is increasing every week), GGD estimates that up to five doses of vaccine per day can be left from open vials. As new GGD employees continue to be vaccinated, not everything will go to the vulnerable.
Last week, when GGD Noord-Limburg was called again, the GGD umbrella organization GHOR also turned against the Limburg policy. GGD GHOR spokesperson then said that GGD “cannot play the role of arbiter” and that the new directive from the ministry provides “guidance”. Now the dome says this was a “misunderstanding”.
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