THE HAGUE - The Dutch Public health institute RIVM expects that the coronavirus will continue to circulate in the Netherlands. "As a result, we expect that everyone who has not been vaccinated will sooner or later get the virus and may become ill," RIVM director Jaap van Dissel said in a parliamentary briefing on the current state of affairs around the pandemic, NOS reports.
RIVM figures show that 1.8 million Netherlands residents do not want to be vaccinated. And the vaccines do not work well for some 700 thousand people, for example because they have a weak immune system. "Then you come to a group of 2.5 million people who are not protected against Covid-19," Van Dissel said.
That will eventually translate into 16 thousand to 22 thousand coronavirus-related hospital admissions, and between 2,200 and 3,400 intensive care admissions. Van Dissel could not say over what period of time this would happen. "It can be within a month or over a period of two years, the calculation for that is still too complex."
According to Van Dissel, the circulation of the coronavirus in the Netherlands seems to be stabilizing and "that's a concern". About 75 percent of adults in the country are now fully vaccinated, but the regional distribution of that is also important, he said. "Otherwise there will always be pockets of people with low vaccination coverage where the virus can continue to circulate."
The latest RIVM figures also show that the Covid-19 vaccines work very well in protecting against hospitalization. The Pfizer vaccine, for example, is 96 percent effective in that regard after both doses. This is also reflected in the hospital admissions. Of the hospitalized coronavirus patients, 74 percent are not or only partially vaccinated.