“In those first few months of the vaccination campaign, general vaccination coverage in the population will be too low to adjust the measures,” he said. “For herd immunity, at least 70% of people need to be vaccinated and immune, and we are still a very long way from that.”
“Additionally, we know from clinical studies that the vaccine can clearly protect against disease, and that protection can be higher than 90%,” Van Gucht said. “However, just because you are protected against the disease, does not mean that you cannot be a carrier of the virus, even if you have been vaccinated.”
There is not enough information or data available yet to know for how long the vaccine’s protection will last either, he said. “These are things that we need to monitor on the ground.”
Once more people have been vaccinated, however, it will become easier to keep the virus under control, according to Van Gucht.
“Fewer people will become ill, fewer people will have to be tested, fewer people will have to be quarantined,” he said. “It will be simpler.”