Covid vaccinations for children 12 and above lowers infection rates: Van Dissel
Should children above the age of 12 also be able to get vaccinated against Covid-19, it will help lower the spread of the coronavirus in the upcoming winter season, RIVM director Jaap van Dissel said to the AD.
Vaccinating this age group can lower infection rates by around 15 percent, according to Van Dissel. The Pfizer vaccine was authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for children above the age of 12 last week. “This can be of importance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during the winter period”, Van Dissel stated.
At the moment in the Netherlands, Covid vaccinations are only given to adolescents 16 and above.
The RIVM director is worried that a new, more contagious coronavirus mutation version could cause infection rates to spike up again. Future variants might be resistent to current Covid vaccines. “I am not pessimistic over the upcoming period but I think there is always the possibility of an ‘escape-variant’, a mutation of the virus that is not affected by vaccines”, Van Dissel said during the interview.
Van Dissel had a positive outlook for this summer, “We are in a completely different phase after surpassing more than ten million vaccinations. That is a milestone.”
The RIVM director said the vaccines are working well, “They seem to be doing what they’re supposed to: they inhibit the virus by between 50 to 90 percent and they make people up to 90 percent less sick after exposure.”
Other European countries such as Germany and France have already authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children above the age of 12. “You also hope to learn from that. The Health Council is still debating on the matter but according to our predictions vaccinating children will have a positive affect”, Van Dissel said.