Netherlands

RIVM: ‘It remains to be seen whether letting go of 1.5 meters is safe’

Last year around this time the second wave started in the Netherlands. The OMT expects another “significant” corona wave this autumn. There is great uncertainty about the amount and partly depends on which measures are still in place, how many people are still vaccinated and the seasonal effect. There may be another challenge. Virologists fear a serious influenza epidemic, in other words a flu wave.

How exciting is a winter with both a corona and flu wave?

Van Dissel: “We know that after a very quiet year of flu, such as last year, there is a chance that the flu season will be up to 60 percent more severe than average. Healthcare is currently already overloaded, there is still a lot to catch up on and healthcare employees are of course also susceptible to the flu. If that adds significant pressure to healthcare, then you again have a lot of unfavorable situations at the same time. That’s what worries a little bit.”

“It means that we also want to invest in vaccination for the flu. Fortunately, we also have more vaccines available for at least the vulnerable groups. We hope that many healthcare workers will also be vaccinated, but the latter is still a point of uncertainty.”

Could a flu wave also lead to national measures?

Van Dissel: “We currently have more options in the case of flu than with covid-19. After all, we can treat the flu with antiviral drugs. The flu generally only occurs after Christmas. What you see now is that on average the numbers of covid-19 cases are decreasing, but if there is too much pressure on the healthcare chain, the OMT may advise temporarily adopting certain measures that we are letting go of now.”

Like reintroducing the one and a half meters?

Van Dissel: “I think that’s speculative.”

About 1.8 million people are not yet protected against the corona virus, because they have not yet experienced the virus or because they have not yet been vaccinated. They are going to get the virus sooner or later. Is it possible to say more precisely when this will happen?

Jacco Wallinga: “It very much depends on how things will develop in the near future. Suppose we now get a situation that we saw at the end of June, early July and suddenly a large number of people are infected. Then there will be a large wave to infections that can lead to extra crowds in the ICU. That ensures that we are less susceptible at the end of the ride. You can assume that people who are susceptible will get it sooner or later.”

The RIVM estimates that 5 to 9 percent of people over the age of 12 will not be vaccinated. What tax for care can they still give?

Wallinga: “Many of those who don’t want to be vaccinated may have already had an infection and are already immune in that way. Otherwise they will also become infected over time. Then they are also immune. So in the long run the effect that that group has will become smaller and smaller. It is very important to know whether these people are clustered or whether they are in between all kinds of vaccinated. That makes a lot of difference in a wave.”

Finally: many young people have been infected, do not end up in hospital quickly due to a corona infection and many parents and grandparents have now been vaccinated. Do you understand that some of the young people wonder: why do I still have to be vaccinated?

Van Dissel: “I don’t think it’s so much about our understanding, but it’s about what the best advice would be for the whole of the Netherlands. All the factors you mention are correct, at the same time practice shows that of all vaccinated people, a number of them still get sick. can become from the virus, because vaccination does not protect 100 percent. So it is not just about personal interest, but also about what we collectively, as a society, want to achieve, also for the vulnerable. In the end it is best that we vaccination coverage as high as possible.”

RIVM: ‘It remains to be seen whether letting go of 1.5 meters is safe’
Source link RIVM: ‘It remains to be seen whether letting go of 1.5 meters is safe’

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