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Impact of 6 million vaccinations reflected in fewer positive tests and hospital admissions

The Netherlands launched its COVID-19 vaccination programme on 6 January 2021. Four months later, with 6 million vaccine doses administered, we are seeing the effect of this as the number of confirmed cases and hospital admissions declines. Groups that have been vaccinated are less likely to test positive for coronavirus or be admitted to hospital with COVID-19 than groups that have not yet been vaccinated.

Fewer confirmed cases among vaccinated groups

Most nursing home residents and residents of care homes for people with disabilities have now been vaccinated. The article ‘The effect of vaccination on the number of positive tests’ of 16 March 2021 describes the initial impact of vaccination on these groups. Since then, many over-80s who live at home independently have also been vaccinated.

The following graphs show how many people aged 80-89 and over 90 have tested positive for coronavirus. They include residents of nursing homes and those living at home independently. The dotted grey line shows the average number of positive tests among all age categories.

Number of confirmed cases among people aged 90+ over time
Number of confirmed cases among people aged 80-89 over time

The graphs clearly show that, until mid-February, the number of confirmed cases among people aged 80-89 and over 90 more or less mirrored the average number among all age categories, showing the same fluctuations. We can see that, from mid-February onwards, the vaccination of people aged 80-89 and over 90, which began the month before, started to have an effect. Fewer and fewer people in the 80-89 and over 90 groups tested positive, even though the average number of confirmed cases overall was growing.

An increasing number of people aged 70-79 have now also had at least one dose of the vaccine. We expect that the number of positive tests among this group will also fall in the near future.

The page showing the number of confirmed cases has an interactive graph showing positive tests by age group. You can click on different buttons to see how many people in each age group have tested positive, and how the figures have changed over time.

Fewer elderly people in hospital

Thanks to the vaccination programme, fewer elderly people are being admitted to hospital with COVID-19. The number of over-80s being admitted to hospital has been decreasing for some time, even though the total number of admissions has remained relatively stable. For more information about the age of hospital and ICU patients, see ‘Age distribution of COVID patients in the Netherlands’.

Number of hospital admissions among people aged 80+ over time

As more and more people get vaccinated, fewer people will become seriously ill. The number of hospital admissions will in turn also fall. It is expected that hospital admissions among people aged 70-79 will decline in the near future; numbers among people in other age groups are also expected to decrease as an increasing number of people are vaccinated.