They often contract the virus at school or childcare, according to the weekly figures of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Infected children do not become so ill themselves and are less likely to pass the virus on to adults, for example, “but that does not mean that they do not transmit it at all,” Osterhaus said.
He understands that the cabinet must include the importance of good education for children in the decision-making process about the rules in schools. “But as a virologist, it would of course be my preference to just send the whole class home in the event of one infection. If you choose not to do that, then it must be a given that your children will be tested much more often. For example, a self-test every morning.”
At the moment, the advice is not to have children in primary education self-test for corona. Osterhaus realizes that this is not so easy to organize for schools and parents, “but the principle is that you pick out the positive cases with testing. That applies to all population groups and ages.”
The cabinet intends to relax more matters. For example, the 1.5 meter rule will be released from September 25 and clubs will be allowed to open again, albeit until midnight. Relaxing means a greater risk of infections, according to Osterhaus, but given the vaccination campaign, it will no longer get as out of hand as last year.
“The question remains: can the hospitals handle it? I am concerned about that, but mainly because there is likely to be an influenza wave.” Influenza (flu) has already caused overloaded hospitals even without corona. Last year there was no flu wave due to the corona measures. Osterhaus: „We normally see after a ‘weak’ influenza year that the following year is always tough. I therefore advise anyone who is called up for the flu shot to take it. It is now more important than ever.”
Half of children vaccinated
Just over 16,000 minors received a first shot against the corona virus last week. Of all young people born between 2004 and 2009 who are eligible for vaccination, 51 percent have had at least one shot. Last week it was 49 percent.
The number of vaccinations has hardly increased in recent times. In total, almost 127,000 shots were taken last week, according to the weekly figures of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). That is the lowest number since the week of January 18-24, right at the start of the vaccination campaign.
There is hardly any enthusiasm left, especially among the elderly, most of whom have already received a shot. Last week, 27 people aged 91 or older received a first shot and 33 a second shot.
The vaccination rate among adults is now almost 82 percent. If the children aged 12 and older are also included, 79 percent of all people have finished vaccinating.
Since January, nearly 12.7 million people have now been vaccinated. Nearly 10.6 million of them also received a second shot. People who received the Janssen vaccine only needed to be vaccinated once. People who had recovered from a corona infection in the six months before the injection could opt for one shot instead of two.