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Netherlands brings forward start of COVID-19 vaccination campaign - Metro US

Netherlands brings forward start of COVID-19 vaccination campaign

FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government will begin its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Wednesday, bringing the start forward by two days.

Health workers who are in direct contact with COVID-19 patients or care for elderly in nursing homes will be among the first vaccinated, the health ministry said on Monday.

The government had come under public pressure to accelerate its vaccination plans after other European Union member states started rolling out vaccination programmes, and had been urged to help critical care workers first.

Health Mnister Hugo de Jonge had said last week that it was impossible to start vaccinations before the end of this week as local health authorities did not have the necessary IT systems in place.

Coronavirus infections in the Netherlands have remained high in recent weeks, despite a tough lockdown in which all schools and many stores were closed last month.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Alison Williams and Timothy Heritage)

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