Covid-19 vaccination rate among young people will play key role for rest of crisis: RIVM
The vaccination rate among young people will play an important role in how the rest of the coronavirus crisis develops, director of the Center Infectious Disease Control (CIb) at the RIVM Jaap van Dissel and RIVM chief modeler Jacco Wallinga told NOS.
Education in the Netherlands will fully reopen on Monday, yet only 65 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds have had their first Covid-19 vaccine dose and for 12- to 17-year-olds that figure rests at half.
Around 85 percent of people between the ages of 12- to 24-year-olds said they want to get vaccinated. “If that does not happen, it could play a very important, decisive role in the further course of the epidemic”, Wallinga said.
“There is a certain stability in the Netherlands but there is an underlying dynamic that will determine the developments in the upcoming period”, Van Dissel said.
Despite the stability in the Netherlands, there are still many countries worldwide that have low vaccination rates. “Covid-19 is absolutely not under control on a global level”, the CIb director said.
Coronavirus infections from abroad can spill over in the Netherlands. Around 20 percent of positive coronavirus tests in the past week were the origin was known came from abroad. “The Netherlands is a European hub and actually a kind of city-state, given the population density and the built environment”, Van Dissel pointed out. That means that infections can quickly spread across the country.
A recent study by the RIVM showed that Covid-19 vaccines are as effective against the delta variant as they are against the alpha variant. The majority of people in the study were given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The experts hoped that with the end of the holiday period, the vaccination rate among young people will rise. “If the willingness to vaccinate is indeed so high then, you can gain a lot from that”, Wallinga said.