The Dutch newspaper has published a story in which young adults are quoted as saying they know dozens of young people who have received their jabs that way. They were successful at vaccination centres in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Schiphol, Koog aan de Zaan, Groningen and Huizen, and possibly elsewhere. The GGD has confirmed that it is possible to game the system this way, but does not want to make it hard for people to get their vaccines. However, the GGD has indicated that it will perform more checks of doctor’s referrals from now on.

Messages explaining how to jump the queue have been spread in WhatsApp chatrooms run by students. “Haven’t had your vaccine yet? It’s really easy to get one,” say the messages, which then go on to provide instructions. According to these instructions, the GGD does not check whether people really are at greater risk from Covid-19.

'I don’t want to waste any money on PCR tests'

In this way, students are jumping the vaccine queue, at the expense of people who actually are at greater risk from Covid-19, for instance because they have asthma, cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The newspaper quoted an Amsterdam-based student who got vaccinated ‘because he did not want to waste any money on PCR tests’: “Those tests cost at least 85 euros. That’s a pain if you want to travel during your summer holiday.”

Previously, RTL Nieuws discovered that people had successfully posed as health professionals to get their jabs. Counterfeit letters from ‘employers’ are not checked at the vaccination centres. The GGD did not modify its methods after the RTL Nieuws story broke, as there are no other ways (according to the GGD) to check whether someone works in the healthcare industry.