Coronavirus measures will change with rising vaccination numbers: Koopmans
Once the Netherlands achieves similar higher coronavirus vaccination coverage compared to the United States, certain coronavirus measures can be loosened for vaccinated people, said virologist Marion Koopmans this week.
The latest data from the New York Times noted that 48 percent of the eligible U.S. population has been partially vaccinated against Covid-19, and 38 percent have been fully vaccinated. About 41 percent of adults in the Netherlands received a first vaccine shot, and just over 14 percent were reported as fully vaccinated to the ECDC.
In the United States, those who have already been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus do not need to adhere to certain coronavirus restrictions, including wearing a mask and staying five feet apart. When Koopmans was asked if this is what the future could look like in the Netherlands as well, she responded, “Maybe not for specific risk groups, but for a large majority it will eventually be possible.”
The member of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) was speaking during the BNR Slimme Koppen Podcast. She said that for now it is important the people in the Netherlands still abide by the rules set by the government to combat the spread of the coronavirus. “A very large part of the population is not yet fully protected and there are also many people who have not been vaccinated at all”, Koopmans reminded listeners.
The virologist emphasized that more knowledge needs to be gathered on how well vaccines work in the long run. “We saw that you can catch a mild infection despite vaccination. It does also mean that if you come in contact with unvaccinated people, you can still be contagious”, Koopmans warned.
Koopmans said that for now, it is best that vaccinated people also stick to the coronavirus measures until more research has been done. She said that scientists are currently keeping an eye on countries with high vaccination coverage such as the United States and Israel to “see if abandoning coronavirus measures is indeed possible or if we still need to remain cautious.”