According to immunologist Willem van Eeden of Utrecht University, next fall is the first logical moment for a new round of coronavirus vaccinations. Since the virus is still circulating quite a bit, a new vaccination earlier doesn’t make sense, he says.
On Friday, it will be exactly two years since the first coronavirus vaccination was given in the Netherlands. It was in Vigil, where Sana Al-Qadri, an employee of the nursing home, was vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. The Netherlands was the last EU country to start vaccinating. Since then, nearly 12.5 million people have taken one or two shots in the first round. Last fall, people could get a repeat vaccination. It was attended by just over 4 million people.
These repeated injections work best against the omikron variant of the virus, which is now mainly circulating. In general, vaccines protect especially well against serious illness after infection with the virus. The corona variant of Omicron is less pathogenic than the previous variants. Since a relatively large number of people are now infected with the Corona virus, there is a great deal of herd immunity, in part in light of the vaccination round last fall. That’s why the new vaccination rolling this winter doesn’t make much sense, van Eeden says.
However, as the weather gets warmer, people are less likely to infect each other. He explains that resistance to the virus among the population will then decrease. Next fall, the season when people become more susceptible to infectious diseases again, there could be another wave of cases. The immunologist says a new round of injections would make sense.
Perhaps such a seasonal campaign would be beneficial every year, says van Eeden. Compared to older adults who get the flu each year. To date, approximately one-third of people eligible for recurrence have already had it. He thinks this is not much. However, he thought the injection round made sense. Hospitals are still very busy. If fewer people needed hospital care because of the vaccination campaign, van Eeden says, it was already effective.