Anyone in doubt about taking a corona vaccination can call a special telephone line from Wednesday. Erasmus MC in Rotterdam opens the Vaccination Doubt Telephone in collaboration with general practitioners.
Some people have doubts about taking a corona vaccine, for example for medical reasons. Pregnant women, people with a desire to have children, allergies or autoimmune diseases in particular have many questions about the side effects of the vaccines, the hospital said in an explanation. These questions sometimes concern such specific situations that answers cannot be found on the websites of authorities such as the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
‘A lot of wrong information’
In addition, ‘a lot of incorrect information’ is being spread about the corona vaccinations, according to initiator of the telephone line Robin Peeters. Due to this combination of factors, there are still many people who have doubts about a vaccination, according to the internist. “We are now starting a telephone line to keep people well informed and to give them a place to go with their questions.”
The Vaccination Doubt Telephone is available on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm. Anyone who calls will get medical professionals or medical students who, according to Erasmus MC, are ‘aware of the latest scientific insights’.
Because the pressure on healthcare is great, it is only possible to free up some medics two mornings a week to occupy the telephone line, explains Peeters. This concerns doctors who, for example, have some time after their consultation to update their administration and then use those moments to work for the telephone line. Depending on how busy it gets with callers, such a person may have to finish the administration in the evening. “That’s why we can’t open the line for five days, that’s just not possible in terms of availability.”
The students who answer callers have had training and can always call a professional if they have a question. Everyone is also prepared for callers who are staunchly against vaccination and are happy to share their opinion. “We want to keep those conversations as short as possible. The line is really intended for silent doubters who have specific medical questions,” says Peeters. “We think it is important to make time for this, because you may eventually also be able to prevent hospital admissions.”
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