Despite the increasing rates of infection, OMT president Jaap van Dissel believes that countermeasures like a lockdown or curfew will not be required next winter. In an appearance with the AD, the RIVM director points out that the high immunization rate has put the Netherlands “in a fundamentally different situation” than last year: more than 85 percent of the population has already had their first immunization.
“We didn’t have vaccinations back then. So, in all honesty, I don’t understand why such extreme steps should be recommended “According to Van Dissel, who spoke to the publication.
“The link between illnesses and hospitalizations was first more obvious. However, due to the high vaccination rate, that ratio has shifted. Many of the illnesses are now seen in young individuals, for example, which is good news for the number of hospital admissions. However, the rate of transmission in unvaccinated populations and areas where fewer individuals have been immunized is also a factor.”
For the time being, he does not believe that a big extra round of immunization with a booster injection is essential. “In elderly homes, it’s reasonable that you’d move to a booster vaccine. It’s easier for the virus to spread there, and isolation precautions are more difficult to implement. However, if you choose to deploy such a shot widely, as Israel does, you must do it every six months. Do you wish to stay ahead of every minor symptom? Or is it only major sickness and hospitalizations? For the time being, a large additional round of injections is not required for the latter.”
After spring, corona may be possible ‘to a substantial degree.’
After the spring of 2022, Van Dissel believes the Netherlands will be mostly free of the coronavirus, but it is still up for grabs. “That is dependent on a number of factors, including the length of immunity, the potential for variations to arise, imports from other countries, vaccine availability, and our behavior, as well as our desire to vaccinate.”
“However, if the delta variety is not replaced and you maintain high vaccination coverage and immunity, you may be able to avoid the crisis entirely by the spring.”