Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Near Heerenveen, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Just wandering the Netherlands.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Vaccination scheduled for today!

We tried to get vaccinated in Albania, Poland, and Germany, with no success. The reasons were varied. Even by the time we left Albania on June 10th, they were vaccinating citizens only and unless in specified groups you had to be over 60 (we are 59). Poland was simply confusing, and there were language issues, and we ran out of time there trying to figure out their system. We didn't try very hard in Germany, but it seemed they were still intent on vaccinating only their own citizens.

Here in Netherlands, 90% of native Dutch speakers can also speak English. And many official government websites also have English versions so you don't have to rely on Google Translate. So when I read that there is a procedure to follow for foreigners on Dutch soil to get vaccinated, I started looking further into it.

And, yesterday morning it was raining, so it was a good time to sit on the computer and see if we could figure things out.

Going into the details would take the entire blog post, but suffice to say that the procedure as it is written is impossible to follow. I just about gave up in frustration, except I read that there is a special number to call for foreigners to be able to register to vaccinate (under certain circumstances), but you have to get that number from your country's embassy here in Netherlands. 

Thinking outside the box, I emailed the Canadian embassy, the U.S. embassy, and the U.K. embassy. The U.K. embassy came through an hour later with the phone number I was looking for! Thank you to the British embassy in Netherlands! The Canadian embassy emails were bounced back to me as undeliverable, and the U.S. embassy got back to me late this morning with another email address to contact.

(I ended up phoning the Canadian embassy and they took down my email address and by the end of the day they had sent me the same info the British embassy had sent.)

But calling the phone number didn't get me very far. Yes, I hit "2 for English" and all three different people I spoke to spoke perfect English, and were very friendly and helpful. The problem was that they said we had to have been in Netherlands for at least a month to get an appointment. 

But persistence pays off! I found the official GGD Dutch Healthcare website that lists the rules, and the rules state you have "to be staying in the Netherlands for at least one month". That wording makes all the difference. I called back with that clarification, and managed to book us an appointment for today with the Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccine! We were also given the choice of getting the Pfizer vaccine, but that would have meant having to arrange for the second dose and it may not have been given within the time frame we need to be considered "fully vaccinated".

Yesterday, Canada's new rules came into effect that returning Canadian citizens who have been fully vaccinated no longer have to do the ridiculous 3 day hotel jail stay, or the further 11 day home house arrest. So by getting the J&J vaccine, we will be considered fully vaccinated by July 21st.

So because we don't have to do the quarantine, we now don't have to be in Canada until around August 18th. It gives us a lot more flexibility. And, we can fly to Ottawa, which means our flight choices will be greatly expanded because we can arrive in either Toronto or Montreal.

Our vaccination is scheduled for 1:36 pm (yes, exactly!) and we were told "do not arrive before 1:31 pm"! The location is about 35 kms (22 miles) from where we are right now.

Boy, I tried to shorten that whole story for you, but it's still long!

The skies cleared up a bit for a couple of hours in the afternoon and we did manage to get out for a nice walk. 



Lots of wildflowers!

Tree growing out of a car.

Cornfield and estate.

So, we are heading to the city of Arnhem this morning where our vaccination is scheduled. They also have a laundromat there, so we will get laundry done this morning, and then our vaccination after lunch.

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And in Canada...

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes, they came through for us! :-) Mind you Canada sent us the number later in the day as well but by that time we had already got our appointment booked.

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  2. Wow! That was a tough ride to get a vaccine! I suppose you made sure that the one-dose J&J vaccine is OK to enter Canada as fully-vaccinated (that qualification is usually associated to 2 doses of any vaccine). Let us know how this turns out!

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    1. I was wondering the same thing especially since Canada is not using J&J vaccine . However I have since read that travellers who have had this vaccine elsewhere will be permitted to enter Canada without quarantining . J&J only needs 1 shot.

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    2. Yes, Kevin has spent of time over the last month or two trying to find somewhere where we could get the vaccine. We definitely made sure that J&J vaccine was approved for entry into Canada as full-vaccinated. We still have a few hurdles to cross yet before we can be sure of getting into Canada and not having to do the hotel stay or quarantine but I am sure Kevin will be mentioning that in today's blog post.

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  3. Persistence pays off. Arnhem has a great open air museum!

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    1. Yes, persistence finally pays off. We still have a couple more issues that we have to deal with but at least that was the biggest hurdle.

      We will look into the open air museum, thanks for suggesting it. :-)

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  4. You might’ve got the vaccine easier than cousin in Stittsville, she drove to Kingston last week as nothing was available in the Ottawa area.

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    1. I doubt that, she just would have had to drive a little further but I bet she didn't spend as much time on the phone or internet trying to make it happen. Glad she got it all the same. :-)

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  5. Great news! I hope neither of you suffer too much from side effects. I had a fever and aches after my second Pfizer dose and felt bad for about 36 hours (starting 12 hours after the jab), but it was well worth it in the end. The photos are stunning today. The road with the trees and the wildflowers -- wow, so beautiful there!

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    1. Kevin didn't seem to have any effects from it at all but I definitely have a sore arm around the injection site and last night I had the chills. So far, I seem to be feeling fine this morning.

      Thank you, we are glad that you enjoyed the pictures, I especially love the ones of the trees and wildflowers too. :-)

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  6. Glad your both doing Well with your shots The pictures are beautiful

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    1. Thank you! We are glad that you enjoyed the pictures. :-)

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