The council already reported Friday that it would be wise to provide an additional booster to people aged 60 to 69 because the Omicron wave lasts a little longer than expected. Meanwhile, the efficacy of the booster also decreases in this group. For example, the council expects protection from hospitalizations for people in their 60s to be between 75 and 85 percent only at the beginning of April. Within the first four weeks after the boost, this was still an average of 89 percent.
And it is precisely from the 60 age group that the risk of contracting a severe course of corona is clearly increased compared to the younger groups, according to the council. For example, in the week of February 28 to March 6, 10 in 100,000 were hospitalized in that group, compared to 5 in 100,000 in the 50 to 59 age group. The organization says: “In the latest modeling by the Royal Institute of Health In general, based on the vaccination status, vaccine efficacy, and easing of procedures, an increase in hospital admissions in the Netherlands can be expected in the coming weeks.”
However, there is a great deal of uncertainty about this. However, in this case, the Board of Health considers it reasonable to give an additional booster dose. People in their 60s who have had the vaccination or have been infected for more than three months should be able to get it.
Kuipers agrees with that reasoning, it was reported Friday. People in their 60s can make an appointment online for an additional booster dose starting Saturday. “That’s very short, because we think it’s very important that a lot of people can use the invitation quickly,” he says.
To date, people over 70 years of age, nursing home residents, and adults with Down syndrome and severe immune disorder were eligible for an additional booster dose (repeat injection). They have the greatest chance of contracting a dangerous course of corona. In addition, they were the first to receive the boosters (from November) and thus their effectiveness decreased the most.
According to the Health Council, there is currently no reason to revaccinate other groups. The organization says that it is also not necessary to maintain the immunity of the population continuously through periodic reinforcements in the coming period.
The main reason for this is that the currently dominant omicron variant is relatively mild. “As a result, in the lower age groups, despite the high number of infections, there is a much lower chance of being hospitalized with COVID-19.”
Quickly take an extra shot when needed
However, the organization stresses that it is important that specific target groups quickly get an additional shot in the future if the epidemiological situation gives reason to do so. “For example, in the event of a sharp increase in the number of infections or the emergence of a viral variant that is more pathogenic than the current omicron variant.”
To this end, the Health Board has developed an Application Framework and presented it to Minister Kuipers. Central to this is the question of the extent of the infectious disease and the size of the group that is affected by it. The efficacy of vaccines against them must also be considered, while the potentially adverse health effects of vaccination (side effects) should not significantly affect the health gain of the population.
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