BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine first for elderly on islands

The Dutch Health Council has advised to give priority to persons of 60 years and older in admin­istering the COVID-19 vac­cine BioNTech/Pfizer, when the vaccination programme starts in in January 2021.

The Health Council on De­cember 24 published its advice for the Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands with regard to the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. The Health Council looked at whether it was neces­sary to deviate from its advice for the Dutch Caribbean. This was found not to be necessary, and as such the advice is also applicable to the islands.

People of 60 and above run the most risk of becoming se­verely ill, and even die from COVID-19. The BioNTech/ Pfizer vaccine works excep­tionally in elderly persons. “That is why the Council ad­vises to, as much as possible, reserve this vaccine for this age group, and to start in­oculating the eldest ones of this age group first. This fits in the Council’s earlier strat­egy advice,” it was stated in the report.

This strategy, according to the Council, would yield the highest health results and would also limit the number of COVID-19 patients, who tend to be of an older age, to be admitted to hospitals, which in turn will reduce the pressure on health care.

A limited part of the BioN­Tech/Pfizer vaccine could be used for health care work­ers to protect vulnerable el­derly persons, and to secure the continuity of care. The Council is of the opinion that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is expected in large quantities, up to 4.5 million doses, in the first quarter of 2021, should be used for all health care workers.

The Netherlands will be making the coronavirus vac­cinations available for the six islands from its national stock. The intention is to start the vaccination simulta­neously in Kingdom in Janu­ary 2021.

The Daily Herald.

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