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Deze Engelse informatie is aangepast op 4 oktober 2022

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Coronavirus vaccine

What is a coronavirus vaccine?

A corona vaccine protects you against coronavirus.
The vaccine is injected into your upper arm.
The vaccine prevents you from getting (seriously) ill.

What happens in your body?

The vaccine causes your body to make antibodies against the virus.
If you come into contact with the virus after the vaccination, your body will recognise the virus
and know how to kill it quickly, preventing you from becoming really ill, if at all.

We do not yet know how long the vaccine protects against coronavirus.

Is it safe?

Once the vaccines were ready, they were tested on many people.
They were then approved by the EMA and MEB. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination has been successfully tested on children from the age of 5,
and is now approved for this age group.
Children from 5 to 12 years receive a child dose.

The vaccines are now being used, but safety is still being monitored.

Side effects

As with other vaccines, you may develop complaints after the vaccination. These are called side effects.
You may suffer from:

  • a sore arm at the injection site;
  • a headache;
  • being tired;
  • muscle ache;
  • fever.

These are mild side effects. They are common and disappear on their own after a few days.

Serious side effects are rare. If you have serious side effects in the weeks after the vaccination, please call your GP.

Who is the vaccine meant for?

In the Netherlands, everyone from the age of 5 is eligible for the vaccine.
You can make an appointment online at www.coronatest.nl.
You can make an appointment by phone on 0800 7070.

There are several vaccines.
You cannot choose which one you get.
All of the vaccines used have been tested and approved.


Pregnant women are more likely to get very sick from coronavirus.
The advice is: get vaccinated if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
This advice comes from Dutch gynaecologists, midwives and paediatricians.

Doctors and scientists studied corona vaccine safety during pregnancy.
The studies show:

  • The vaccine is safe for the pregnant woman
  • The vaccine is safe if you are trying to conceive
  • The vaccine is safe for the baby in your womb
  • The vaccine makes the chance of you becoming seriously ill from coronavirus much smaller
  • The vaccine is safe if you are breast-feeding

If you are unsure about vaccination, talk to your midwife or gynaecologist about it.

A booster shot

Your body made antibodies against the coronavirus (COVID-19) after the first corona vaccination.

But the number of antibodies and the protection decrease over time.
The booster shot means your body will make extra antibodies again.
This will prevent you from getting (seriously) ill.

The vaccines have been updated for the booster shot.
They have been modified to protect against different variants of the virus.
The booster shot is similar to the previous vaccinations. The side effects are also similar.

You decide whether to get the booster shot.

When not to have the vaccine?

Call your GP if you:

  • previously had an allergic reaction to a vaccination;
  • had a severe allergic reaction after the first injection;

You should postpone your vaccination and make a new appointment if you:

  • are very ill on the day of the vaccination
  • have a fever of 38 degrees or higher
  • have corona
  • have common corona-related symptoms
  • have had a corona test and don’t have the results yet
  • have been in contact with someone with corona

After the vaccination

If you get corona-related symptoms after the vaccination, have yourself tested.

After the vaccination, the chance of you infecting other people is smaller,
but it is possible.

Follow the general corona guidelines, such as washing your hands and keeping your distance, even after being vaccinated.


If you are unsure about vaccination and want to talk to someone about it,
please call 088-7555777
You can also visit the website www.twijfeltelefoon.nl

If you have any other questions about the coronavirus, call 0800-1351.

Deze begrijpelijke informatie is gebaseerd op de adviezen van Rijksoverheid.nl en informatie van het CBG. De informatie is getest met taalambassadeurs van Stichting ABC.
4 oktober 2022 – versie 13

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