Reserve Moderna Covid vaccine for elderly, Health Council advises
The Health Council advised the government to reserve 90 percent of the coronavirus vaccine made by Moderna to inoculate the elderly against Covid-19. This is the fourth time the Health Council urged the government to prioritize the elderly in its vaccination policy, NOS reports.
"People aged 60 years and older have the greatest risk of serious illness and death from Covid-19. The Moderna vaccine shows very high efficacy in this group," the Health Council said in its advice.
The Council advised also using the vast majority of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on the elderly, calling the fact that healthcare workers in acute care were the first to be vaccinated "an undesirable situation". Every vaccine used on someone else is not available for the elderly. The rapid vaccination of the elderly will reduce the influx of patients to hospitals and home care, and prevent outbreaks in care institutions, the Health Council said.
The Moderna vaccine was given the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency last week and will soon be distributed in the Netherlands. As the Moderna deliveries will be relatively small, the Health Council also wants 90 percent of the Pfizer vaccine to be used to vaccinate people aged 60 and older, starting with the oldest.
In this advice, the Health Council no longer made a distinction between elderly who do and do not fall into a medical risk group. According the Council, new figures show that the risk of Covid-19-related death in hospital is much higher for people over the age of 60 than for people with other chronic conditions. "The most health gains can be achieved by first vaccinating all older people from the age of 60," the Health Council said.
If 90 percent of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are reserved for the elderly and deliveries happen according to schedule, almost all people over the age of 75 can be vaccinated before April. That is more than 1.4 million elderly people protected against the coronavirus, the Health Council said.