Booster shots could have prevented Covid hospitalizations: Health Institute director
If the Netherlands started its Covid-19 booster shot campaign earlier, fewer vaccinated people would currently be in hospital, Jaap van Dissel of public health institute RIVM said in parliament on Wednesday. "Yes, I think we could have prevented part of that," he said in response to questions from MPs, NOS reports.
According to him, the high number of coronavirus infections is connected to the fact that the effectiveness of the vaccines has declined slightly in "relatively many" frail, older people. "We will have to increase that with boosters," he said. But he added that it is also important not to give the extra shot too quickly - they are only effective about six months after someone has been fully vaccinated.
The Netherlands first administered booster shots to people with severe immune disorders. On November 19, the booster campaign started for people aged 80 or older.
Earlier in the technical briefing, Ernst Kuipers of the national acute care network LNAZ also stressed the need for booster shots. "The sooner we can boost people over 60 and those with underlying disease, the faster you can expect admissions in those groups to go down." He also said that Covid-19 hospitalizations would likely top 3,200 people in the coming weeks.