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‘Only when 70 percent have had corona injections will the virus die’

If we really want to beat the coronavirus, at least 70 percent of the population must be vaccinated. Only then will the virus not be able to find enough people to survive. That says Anke Huckriede, professor of vaccinology in Groningen.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is currently developing a promising corona vaccine. Huckriede assumes that the vaccine works on 90 percent of those infected, as is the case with Pfizer. Then 70 percent of the population would be enough to defeat the virus.

A vaccine will also have to have an effect period of “at least six months to a year” if it is to have an effective effect. For example, two weeks are of little use, says Huckriede.

According to Huckriede, a vaccination priority policy makes sense because “the vaccine would protect individuals quite quickly, if their immune systems are responding well.” However, the latter is not always the case with the elderly (but also the sick and small children). “Seniors and others with possibly less strong immune systems will really benefit from the group immunity you get by vaccinating 70 percent of the population.”

Two injections

The vaccine that Pfizer is developing requires two injections. This is the case with most vaccines against corona. Only pharmaceutical company Janssen in Leiden is working on a drug that may require only one injection.

There should be three weeks between injections of Pfizer’s vaccine. “That is really very precise, you should not think that it is also possible with two or four weeks,” said Huckriede. Anyone who thinks that they are immediately protected after the second shot will come home from a rude awakening. The vaccine has to work even further on the body after injections. “After all, the antibodies must be given time to develop. You will probably only be truly protected four weeks after the first immunization. ”

Side effects

Based on the current results, the professor does not expect that the Pfizer drug will have many long-term side effects. But it is still much too early to say anything about it definitively. However, according to the professor, biological material is used that the body can handle.

We don’t really know for sure what the side effects will be until after phase 4 of the study is complete. In addition, the drug is already on the market and it will be examined for another year how it will turn out. By then, such large groups have been vaccinated that more is becoming clear about rare reactions. In the longer term, however, it will become more difficult to conclude whether symptoms are still related to such a vaccination.

The side effects that Pfizer now gives are very normal and good. They show that the drug really works, according to the vaccinologist.

Also read: UK supermarket blocks aisles to “non-essential” products

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“Only when 70 percent have had corona shots, does the virus die”


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