Pandemic? Vaccines are not enough

The COVID19 pandemic is still with us after 22 months. And globally, there is no sign of stopping. The World Health Organization provides expert guidance to all countries on the best-known response to this public health threat. Still, we see large variations in national approaches. In The Netherlands, for example, the government has put most emphasis on vaccination, while releasing most of the non-pharmacological interventions that were in place to keep the virus transmission in check. Even when the baseline rate of infections was still high (over 2000 cases daily).

Unfortunately, soon after releasing these control measures, numbers started rising again in September, despite a vaccination coverage of 85% of the population over 12 years of age.

News Channel EenVandaag invited Arnold Bosman (Transmissible) to comment on the situation and the need for specific measures. The below fragment is in Dutch.

The key message is that vaccines are important, but will not be sufficient to control the pandemic alone. Additional control measures will always be needed. The challenge is to find the right mix of baseline measures, that will allow society to remain open at most levels. The key is to adopt a strategy of containment. This would be the biggest step forward for The Netherlands, where the government still maintains a mitigation strategy, allowing significant virus circulation up to levels that are just under the healthcare capacity threshold. As the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control have stated regularly: mitigation strategies are not advisable, as the risk of uncontrollable outbreaks, that require stringent lockdown measures, is very high.

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