King waiting for Covid booster shot; Criticizes fragmented booster rollout

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King Willem-Alexander is “certainly” planning to get a booster shot against Covid-19, he said on Friday after a working visit to GGD Haaglanden vaccination centers in The Hague and Rijswijk. The 54-year-old Dutch king will wait until it is his turn to get his booster shot, like the rest of public. “I first have to wait for the call for people under sixty years old,” said the king.

Willem-Alexander spoke with people who were at a location where a Covid-19 jab can be obtained without an appointment. He asked those standing in line, who were undecided, why they have not yet been vaccinated. One man said honestly that he simply did not feel like getting a shot.

In earlier conversations with employees of the GGD, it was made clear that various population groups and those living in various communities were still grappling with a lack of knowledge about the available vaccines. “How can it be that people do not know that?” asked the king with some disbelief. Hesitation, false information and fear were also discussed.

“They have not yet gotten around to it,” was a frequently heard reason from those who are only just now getting vaccinated. About 2,000 jabs a week are being given in the Haaglanden region to people getting their first vaccination, the majority of whom are in The Hague, said GGD director Anneke de Boer.

The king wondered aloud why giving booster shots had not been immediately opened up to everyone over sixty, instead of giving the boosters to smaller target groups. That has made it more difficult for several reasons, such as making everyone make appointments first, the king suggested.

His mother, Princess Beatrix, has already had a booster shot. During a working visit to Curaçao at the end of November, the 83-year-old princess said that she has been vaccinated twice and had a booster vaccine. A few days after returning home, on Saturday, December 4, it was announced that Beatrix was infected with the coronavirus and had to remain in home isolation. Despite her coronavirus infection, the princess is doing well, the king said earlier this week.

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