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Marc van Ranst satisfied with the vaccine waiting time review: "If we want to make the first injections work, the third injection is necessary"

Marc van Ranst satisfied with the vaccine waiting time review: “If we want to make the first injections work, the third injection is necessary”

Mark Van Ranst © BELGA

Marc van Ranst is unhappy with the reduction in the waiting time for the Pfizer and Moderna booster vaccine from six to four months. “If we want to make the first two shots — which many people have already taken — profitable, the third is really necessary,” it sounded in “De Afspraak.” “Then the low efficacy goes back to 75 to 80 percent.”

GVsource: The appointment

Why was the waiting period set at six months? “This is a bit arbitrary,” Van Ranst admits. You want to give your immune system time to mature, as it’s called. But if in practice you see that protection is going away too quickly, you should reconsider.”

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In the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the waiting time for a booster dose with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has been shortened to three months. Why then choose Belgium for four months? “Ah, in practice, the difference isn’t very big after all,” says Van Ranst, silent. “You can’t vaccinate everyone at once. If you can satisfy some skeptic in this way, then four months is an honorable compromise. Don’t we give the impression that people are actually not protected in that period between the fourth month and the sixth month? This is of course not the case. Curve The rate of protection does not fall in a straight line after four months.”

New wave, new shot?

Will the third shot now protect us from a new wave of infection? “We’re starting to see more and more clarity in this: If we want to get those first two shots—which many people have already taken—the reason, the third shot is really necessary. Then the low efficacy goes back to 75 to 80 percent.”

Read also. The booster waiting time will be shortened, but can vaccination centers deviate from their schedule? (+)

Van Ranst cautions that the third shot likely won’t be the last. “Vaccines that are being adapted to newer variants are coming gradually. Do we need a separate vaccine for each variant? If you want perfect protection, actually. But that’s not practically possible. There is also crotch protection, so you don’t have to go that far de facto.”

omicron

In the meantime, the omikron variant threatens to become dominant in the short term. Do we really have clarity about all the consequences of this alternative? According to Van Ranst, this is not yet complete. “Even the first cases described in South Africa have not yet completed a full-time course. There were also mostly young people, much more than here. On top of that, many people have already contracted the virus. So it takes a while before you get a decent offer. For such a new variant. Now that the omikron variant is also prevalent in the UK and Denmark, we hope to have more clarity on this soon.”

Wouldn’t it be better to wait for a vaccine specially adapted to the omicron variant? “No, because then you will now face a big wave, while the protection is not perfect and we have vaccines.”

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