Whether the new vaccine is approved or not, preparations at the GGDs are already in full swing.
1. Why will there be another vaccination campaign? The peak is behind us, isn’t it?
The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has advised to start a new vaccination round because a new corona wave in the autumn is being taken into account. According to professor of immunology Marjolein van Egmond, immunity deteriorates in the vulnerable and the elderly in particular. To keep it up, it is important to get a booster shot.
2. Who is the new vaccine intended for and when can you get the shot?
Everyone aged 12 and older is expected to have the opportunity to get a repeat shot against corona from the second half of September.
First, people with a higher medical risk and healthcare personnel with patient contact are invited, then everyone else aged 12 years and older. This repeat jab can be obtained from three months after the last corona jab or a previous infection.
3. What’s different about these vaccines? Are they completely new vaccines, or are the old ones just slightly modified?
Immunologist Marjolein van Egmond: “It is an adaptation of the existing vaccine. You can see a vaccination as a refresher course for the immune system. Because the omikron variant has been included in this vaccination, you can see it as if half of the learning material has changed. This is a two-code vaccine, the original mRNA vaccine plus an omikron code.”
4. Have these new vaccines been extensively tested? What do we know about side effects?
“The vaccines have certainly been tested, but less extensively than the original vaccine. Compare it to a car. If you replace the engine in a good car, you will not test the car as extensively afterwards. The side effects are not expected to occur. are changed.”
5. Will there be more new vaccines, or will it stay with these two for now?
“Not in the short term, it is expected. The strength of mRNA vaccines is that they can be more easily adapted.”
6. Should I take the vaccine?
That’s up to you. Immunologist Marc Veldhoen shares a number of things to consider. Vaccination is safe, he says. There is no negative effect on your immune system or general health. A booster ensures extra production of antibodies and a re-activation of memory cells. This means that you are temporarily extra protected against an infection.
If you belong to a group that has a weaker immune system; then the fourth vaccine is ‘highly recommended’ and also necessary to protect you against disease.
He also “definitely” recommends a third shot to people who have only had the basic series, without having been infected. Because, he states: only after you have been in contact with the spike protein three times, you are reasonably well protected against disease from the now much faster variants.
7. And if you belong to the latter, well-protected group?
Is it wise to get the new vaccine if you have already been vaccinated three times? Or twice plus have experienced an infection? Veldhoen call it a ‘personal choice’. After getting the new booster shot, you are then at least extra protected against infection.
The question is whether this group is even better protected against serious illness. “I expect that the extra protection against disease will not be great for this group. However, there are also vulnerable people in that group who do not know that they are vulnerable. That is the difficult thing.”