The topic in the base camp of the Red Devils in Tubize today was to vaccinate players, or rather: not to vaccinate some players. Vaccine scientist Pierre Van Damme explains the hype: “It is understandable that some players want an explanation.”
Van Damme’s understanding: “The Red Devils are under great pressure”
The vaccination of the Red Devils was a “hot topic” weeks before preparations began. Now that it is also possible to vaccinate the national team early, it turns out that some players still do not want a vaccine. Coach Martinez called it “off-topic” earlier today, however there was plenty of criticism here and there.
Vaccine scientist Van Damme, affiliated with the University of Antwerp, gave us an explanation of the vaccination hype and showed an understanding. “The players only got a chance to get vaccinated on Monday,” he opened.
“In 10 days, they are already in their first important match, against Russia. In other words, these guys are under tremendous physical and mental pressure.”
“Understandably, they want an explanation then. We brought that up on Monday night. Some players asked themselves questions about the effect of the vaccine on their performance. They may still change their minds and they will be vaccinated like the big group.”
The vaccine is still not mandatory.
In the weeks before the preparation began, a lot of ink was spilled about the early vaccination of demons. However, the fact that some players refuse the vaccine raises a lot of criticism.
“This vaccine possibility is now available, but it is still not mandatory,” Van Damme explains. “Some players will now choose the moment of vaccination.”
“But you have to look at that in the atmosphere of preparing for a major tournament. Mentally, these players now want to be as intense as possible. They don’t immediately think about a vaccine.”
“There is no scientific evidence of the negative effect of the vaccine on athletic performance”
Some players asked if the vaccine had a negative effect on their athletic performance. How does Van Damme estimate that? “Scientifically, there is very little information on this topic, especially on a large scale,” he says.
“For some, performance can suffer a little, but then the question remains whether it is due to chance. It may be useful to gather this information from the Red Devils or Olympic selection.”