Officially, it isn’t students’ turn to vaccinated just yet. Nevertheless, many of them have already had their shot.
‘My letter was at the bottom of a pile of mail’, says Klaske Geene (22), master student of biomedical technology. ‘I completely missed it.’ A friend hers told Klaske that people with a medical indication were being invited to get vaccinated. Klaske’s ears pricked up. ‘I realised I might’ve got one of those letters, too’, she says. She immediately checked her mail, only to find her letter at the bottom.
Everyone with an increased risk of covid due to existing medical conditions has eligible to get vaccinated since the start of May. Some people have lung or breathing issues, while other suffer from heart conditions. A list of names has been made of the people who are eligible under these conditions. If you’re on the list, you’ll automatically get an invitation.
Klaske was on the list, although she initially didn’t realise. She suffered from arrhythmia two years ago. She had surgery and evidently ended up on the list. ‘When I got the letter, I suddenly realised I also get an invitation for the flu shot every year. That explains why I got this one as well’, she says.
Dagmar Dijkstra (21), business administration student, received a letter around the same time that Klaske did. She’d realised just before that she might be eligible for early vaccination when her brother told her one of his roommates had got a letter as well. Dagmar waited patiently. ‘Then my letter arrived. I got my first shot on May 15.’
Dagmar has scoliosis, a deformation of the spinal column. It doesn’t bother her in her daily routine, but it could lead to an increased risk of covid. ‘My roommate happens to also have scoliosis’, she says. ‘We got vaccinated together.’
But students who work jobs in a hospital, the public health service, or in home care are eligible for early vaccination. Fardau Attema (21), a medical student, works in home care. ‘I like that I’m vaccinated, because I get close to vulnerable people’, she says. ‘It makes me feel safer.’
Nevertheless, it can be weird to feel totally fine and already be vaccinated. Klaske was in two minds about it. ‘A lot of people want to be vaccinated, and I think some people might need it more than I do. Sometimes it feels a bit weird that I’ve already had my shot’, she says.
Jelle van der Schaaf (21), student of liberal arts and sciences, feels the vaccination policy is a little weird sometimes. All around him, he hears about students and other young people getting vaccinated. But his mother, who is vulnerable to the virus, still hasn’t been called up..
He’s had to be on his toes and make sure he hadn’t been exposed when he wanted to visit his parents. ‘It doesn’t quite feel right that people around me are getting vaccinated while my mother is being made to wait’, he says. ‘Even my father got an invitation before she did.’
Because it was taking so long, he decided to call the GP. ‘The GP said they were still working on setting up a list’, says Jelle. ‘I thought that was weird. All these other people were already getting vaccinated. Why hadn’t they finished the list yet?’ Fortunately, his mother has since received her first shot. ‘That was a relief.’
‘My friends were pretty jealous’, says Klaske. ‘They wanted to get vaccinated, too. Especially now that we can go on vacation again.’ She was happy to get the shot. ‘I wasn’t too worried before I got vaccinated, but it was nice to visit my grandparents and feel safe.’
Dagmar is also glad she’s vaccinated. She still needs to get her second shot. ‘A lot of my friends have also been vaccinated’, she says. ‘I’m not doing anything differently than I did before. I just hope we’ll be able to get together for more things in the summer.’