It is unlikely that the first Dutch people will be vaccinated against the corona virus before the end of this year. The program director for the corona vaccination of the RIVM, Jaap van Delden, said this on Wednesday.
It is “as it looks now not likely, but it is also not impossible. We are doing everything we can, but we do not have enough information to say whether it will be successful this year. We cannot manage all the steps ourselves”, says Van Delden.
He says he does not have the impression that the Netherlands is lagging behind neighboring countries. A vaccine must first be admitted to the market, then the delivery must be released and finally the delivery itself follows. “All European countries will only use a vaccine if it has been registered,” said Van Delden.
All adult Dutch are eligible for a vaccination. The elderly and people with poor health are the first to act. “The most important risk factor for the virus is age. This is followed by heart complaints, lung diseases and diabetes, but these are common in people of older age,” explains Hans van Vliet of the National Immunization Program of the RIVM.
Care workers after the elderly and the frail
After the elderly and the vulnerable, it is the turn of people who work in healthcare. Van Vliet: “They do not run a very high risk thanks to good protection measures, but they can pose a risk to others if they have the virus. People from the risk groups are the first to visit doctors and care providers. Moreover, it is important to to keep the concern afloat. ” Vaccination of children is not currently on the agenda.
The elderly and disabled are vaccinated by the doctor of the nursing home or healthcare institution. General practitioners will vaccinate people under the age of 60 with medical problems, as well as people over 60 with and without health problems. Others will be injected through the health services.
Who has been vaccinated with which vaccine is kept in a special administration. It can also remind people that it is time to get a second dose of the medicine. The data can also be used to monitor side effects.
Duration of protection of vaccines still unknown
It is not yet known how long the corona vaccine protects. “Most people are still virgin, they have no immune system yet. Maybe the vaccine will work for three years, maybe five years, we have to learn that”, says professor of vaccinology Cecile van Els.
Moreover, vaccination does not automatically mean that all measures can be relaxed. Van Els: “You build up a dike of immunity with which you can deal a blow to the virus. But then you should not open the floodgates and give the virus a better chance to circulate.”