3. Health worker Lesley Verhoef resting after vaccination and holding a bunch of flowers
4. Close up of vaccine being prepared
5. Mid of man being vaccinated
6. SOUNDBITE (Dutch) Tessa Rijntalder, Houten mass vaccination center manager:
"Many people think that we started too late. And that is true. We started as one of the last countries in Europe, but that also has to do with the good preparation that we have done here. We put all registrations in order. We always say to each other, it is not about what day you start, but how you will run that race together and then when you will reach that finish line."
7. Mid of woman being vaccinated
8. SOUNDBITE (Dutch) Lesley Verhoef, health worker:
"I have some confidence in the process. I think I can say that. I find that the people who in charge are at the right place and can make good decisions. Also, I think this (vaccination) came fast. That's great."
9. Various of health workers registering before the vaccination
10. SOUNDBITE (Dutch) Helen Dickson, health worker:
"Yes, I think it is a shame that we had to wait to start vaccinating, but I do have the confidence that now it will be provided in the Netherlands at great speed. In a short time, many people will receive vaccines."
COVID-19 inoculations were being carried out at a health centre in the Dutch town of Houten on Friday after the country kickstarted its vaccination programme on Wednesday, with care home staff and frontline workers in hospitals first in line for the shot.
The rollout came nearly two weeks after most other European Union nations and the Dutch government has come under fierce criticism for the late start.
Authorities had focused preparations on the easy-to-handle AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not yet been cleared for use in the EU, and not the vaccine produced by US drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech.
The EU has sealed six vaccine contracts for up to 2 billion doses, with Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Pfizer-BioNTech and CureVac.
But only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been approved for use so far in the 27-nation bloc.
In the next few weeks, Dutch authorities are planning to vaccinate about 30,000 health workers who are care home staff and frontline workers in hospitals, and 600,000 people in the whole health care sector in the next four weeks.
The rollout will continue covering people with health risks and seniors in the second and third quarter.
The rest of the 7.1 million people belonging to the general population (18-60 years old) will be vaccinated in the third quarter of 2021.
The Netherlands is in the midst of a five-week tough lockdown imposed over surging infection rates.
Nearly 12,000 people are confirmed to have died of COVID-19 in the Netherlands since the global pandemic started, though the true number is higher because not all people who died after a suspected new coronavirus infection were tested.