On Monday, May 31, Timmermans was allowed to comment on ‘Nieuwsuur’. On the spot she was told that Minister De Jonge was meeting the wishes of AstraZeneca refusers to get another vaccine. Timmermans thought this was a good decision. However, the people who had just received the AstraZeneca vaccine with some reluctance felt somewhat disadvantaged.
Two days later on Wednesday, the Health Council announced that Janssen is also a second-rate vaccine, as the mRNA vaccines are preferable. “The vaccines are sufficiently effective and safe though”, says the Health Council. Does this reassure people? Is this clear risk communication? Who should determine whether the health benefits of vaccination for an individual are reasonably proportionate to its risks?