Sunday 05 December 2021

EU body calls for booster shots for the over 18s, as Dutch campaign starts up

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is recommending an additional coronavirus vaccine dose for everyone over the age of 18.

In the Netherlands, people born in 1939 now eligible to make an appointment for a booster shot and current strategy for additional doses is confined to the over 60s, those in residential care, and people with vulnerable health issues.

The ECDC has already raised concerns about the high number of cases in nine EU countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium. All these countries face a very difficult December and January, ECDC director Andrea Ammon told reporters on Wednesday.

The ECDC is now recommending that everyone over the age of 18 is given a booster injection, with priority for the over-40s.

‘This is to increase protection against infection due to waning immunity which could potentially reduce the transmission in the population and prevent additional hospitalisations and deaths. The booster dose is recommended six months after completing the primary schedule at the earliest,’ Ammon said.

In the meantime, she said, governments should ban large events, ensure the use of face masks and social distancing and encourage people to avoid busy places.

Travel

According to Bloomberg, the EU is to recommend later on Thursday that people should have a booster shot within nine months of completing their first vaccination programme in order to qualify for an EU coronavirus travel pass.

The move is to ‘smooth out differences in rules to help safeguard the ability to travel after governments have employed contrasting approaches to how long vaccinations should last and how to manage booster shots’, Bloomberg said.

Some 83% of the over-11s in the Netherlands are now fully vaccinated against coronavirus but there are no plans, as yet, to vaccinate younger children.

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