The Netherlands can get rid of the lockdown. This is what pediatrician and epidemiologist Patricia Brugging (UMC Utrecht) just stated in conversation with Sven Kockelmann at Sven Op 1. The nightlife should close its doors for a while, and no big events should be organized at the moment. “But being put on and going into the food industry until 10 p.m., I think it’s possible.”
According to Bruijning, we have to “squeeze the brakes a little bit right now, to prevent things from getting out of hand”. But policy should no longer aim to slow the contagion wave. “Especially focus on preventing infection where people are at risk, such as in nursing homes,” Bruijning says. According to her, a possible introduction of 2G (vaccinated or tested) or 1G (all tested) could be used to prevent infection from reaching the most vulnerable. “You can ask a stylist who mainly cuts older adults to do a self-exam.”
Question marks about RIVM models
The government is now basing its policy on RIVM account models. Bruijning has serious doubts about these account models. At present, for example, calculations are still made with the length of hospital stay for patients comparable to the delta variable.
However, the disease course appears to be milder in the omicron variant. “You can use these forms, but the result will be more negative in terms of international center admission and hospital occupancy.” Why these models are not adapted is a mystery to Bruijning.
Vaccination of young children
Today, the first parents of children aged 5 to 11 are receiving a call to vaccinate their children. Bruijning is not sure if she would do this with her children, if they were that age.
According to her, the omikron variant has reduced the need to vaccinate young children, both in terms of individual health benefits and in terms of reducing infection. “We are looking at a different situation with the current omikron variant than it was at the end of last year when the Health Board issued the advice.”
According to Bruijning, we should end up in a similar situation as with the flu shot. I think we should abandon the whole idea that you have to vaccinate to prevent infection. People at risk of contracting the disease should continue to be vaccinated. But you don’t need to vaccinate people who don’t get this disease either, because we don’t do that with many other viruses either.”
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