A new national phone number will be given to the vaccination suspect phone. As of December 23, anyone with doubts and questions about receiving a vaccine can call 088-7555777.
The phone number was set up at the end of last month by internist Robin Peters of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. Now university hospitals in Utrecht, Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Maastricht are joining the initiative. The new number should make the line more accessible.
Hundreds of phone calls
In recent weeks, Peters has seen an enormous need for the information line. says in The Radio NOS 1 News. On the morning of the week the number was available, the call center staff received between 600 and 700 calls in the morning.
Peters says, based on conversations in the doctor’s office, that the group of skeptics among the unvaccinated is larger than among the people who are staunchly opposed to the vaccine. “But you never know if these people will actually call.”
He believes that the large-scale media campaign did not reach a group sufficiently. “Some people rely on other sources of information. There are also a lot of nonsensical accounts that require independent advice.”
Since other hospitals also share the number, the line can be opened daily. It’s good to be able to fill a need, Peters says. “The sooner we can help people make a decision, and the sooner we can reduce the flow to hospitals, the better.”
According to him, callers can be divided into roughly three categories. In the first place, these are people who have questions about their clinical picture. “For example, when someone regularly suffers from migraines and wonders if a vaccination is making it worse.” In addition, there are many questions about pregnancy and fertility with the vaccine. In addition, many questions are raised about side effects.
These are specific questions that are barely or not answered at all on government websites. According to Peters, it’s a good idea for people to be able to put their questions directly to doctors and then not have to contact the government or other authorities. “The strength of this phone is that people can ask their questions to an independent doctor without revealing their identity.”
Don’t look forced
The number will be available between 08.30 and 16.30. Specially trained medical students answer questions people ask. “There is always a specialist available,” Peters says. This can remove any doubts the students have “until we make sure everyone gets the right information”.
Incidentally, he asserts that no one is required to be vaccinated at the end of the conversation, “because we don’t want to appear as coercive.” “Everyone has to choose.” He says he regularly hears that people schedule a photo shoot after the phone call.
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