All adults should receive booster vaccine by end January: Gommers, Koopmans
Members of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) Marion Koopmans and Diederik Gommers said the best way to fight the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant is by making sure all adults receive the Covid-19 booster shot as soon as possible.
The experts feared a new wave of coronavirus infections while the number of Covid-19 patients is still high could push hospitals to the brink. "If you want to seize the opportunity and avoid ending up in the worst-case scenario, you need to make sure that everyone is vaccinated before the end of January," Gommers said on BEAU. According to the ICU doctor, there are between four thousand to six thousand people in the Netherlands at the moment who are at risk of ending up in the ICU.
The experts said until more is known about the Omicron variant moving forth with the booster vaccination campaign is essential.
On Friday, the OMT also advised the Cabinet to issue a strict lockdown immediately, allowing only essential stores to remain open to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Additional measures could be instated as early as Sunday.
Studies so far have shown that Covid-19 vaccines are less effective against the Omicron variant. "You see antibodies against the Omicron variant are significantly lower with all vaccines used in the Netherlands," Koopmans said. The OMT member said that there would be more clarity on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines against the Omicron variant in two weeks, "But if you wait until then, you may already be on an upward trend," Koopmans said.
Koopmans strongly urged everyone celebrating Christmas with friends and family to self-test before attending celebrations.
At least 100 Omicron coronavirus infections have been reported so far in the Netherlands. According to the RIVM, most infections will be attributed to the Omicron variant shortly after the new year begins.