Vaccinated people may still have to quarantine, says Steven Van Gucht
Share article:
Share article:

Vaccinated people may still have to quarantine, says Steven Van Gucht

Illustration image. Credit: Belga

It is possible that people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 once the vaccines are available, will still have to quarantine, health officials said during a press conference on Friday.

“It is not yet clear whether the vaccine will also protect us against an infection,” said virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht, adding that vaccinated people might still carry the virus.

“Of a number of vaccines, we know that they protect against the disease – 60 to 90% depending on the vaccine – but we do not yet really know whether the vaccine will also protect us against the infection,” he said.

“Perhaps we can still be carriers of the virus and not develop any symptoms after all. That is potentially a risk,” Van Gucht said.

Related News:

 

As long as the exact effect of a vaccine is not clear, we will have to assume that people will still have to be quarantined, even after vaccination.

“Certainly when those people also come into contact with someone who has an increased risk of complications,” he added.

However, as more and more people are vaccinated, fewer and fewer people will have to go into quarantine. “Less virus will circulate, fewer infections will be detected and the need to go into quarantine will decrease,” said Van Gucht, adding that there is not enough data available to make clear statements about this now.

Additionally, it is not entirely clear yet whether all population groups will be eligible for a vaccine, according to Van Gucht, who referred to pregnant women, for example, as they have not yet been included in the clinical trials.

People with a very weak or even no immune system, because of a genetic disorder or because of a cancer treatment that has brought the immune system to a standstill, for example.

“These people can, in principle, be given the vaccine as it does not contain a live virus and therefore do not pose a risk. However, they may not respond to it, and may not build up immunity to the virus,” Van Gucht said.

For those people, in particular, herd immunity is very important, according to him. “Also, other people, who do have a healthy immune system, should be vaccinated to the maximum, so that the virus can no longer circulate,” Van Gucht said.

“This then creates a protective cover of vaccinated people around those who cannot build up immunity themselves, a so-called ‘love vaccination’,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

EU decides to activate emergency brake against new COVID-variant but stops short of flight ban
The new COVID variant detected in South Africa has put the EU on alert and prompted the Council’s Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) to ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
Cheat Sheet: New Rules, Quiet December Nights
It's been a while since we've had measures complicated enough to deserve a cheat sheet, but less than a week after Belgium rolled out new measures, ...
Belgium records highest number of new cases since start of pandemic
An average of 16,762 infections per day is now recorded in Belgium, with an absolute record of more than 25,000 infections in one day last Monday, ...
Brexit: trade and travel disrupted as French fishermen blockade ports and Eurotunnel
On Friday, the national committee for the French fishing industry has coordinated a blockade of three French ports as well as lorries bearing freight ...
Belgium implements ‘package of strict measures’
Not even a week after the previous measures came into force, Belgium is taking stricter measures to stop the fourth wave in the country, announced ...
Even with strong action now, ‘we will still have a few weeks of misery,’ says Vlieghe
Even if the Consultative Committee takes powerful and clear decisions today, Belgium will still have to endure a few weeks of misery while the number ...
Brussels tunnels blocked by Uber driver protest
Several tunnels in the centre of Brussels were blocked on Friday morning by Uber drivers protesting against a ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal ...
Police strikes at Brussels and Charleroi airports cause delays
Police unions are taking action at Brussels and Charleroi airports this Friday morning, causing delayed services at both locations. At 7:00 AM at ...
Black Friday not your bag? Try Green Friday
Today is Black Friday: a North American custom that has made its way across the Atlantic and is when retailers aim to draw consumers in with low ...
Study links social media use with depression in adults
While social media has been linked to anxiety and depression in teens, a new study now suggests that adults are also susceptible. In Belgium, a ...
Nearly half a million of lives saved by COVID-19 vaccination in Europe, new study shows
A new study published on Thursday estimates that at least 470,000 lives have been saved among those aged 60 years and over since the start of ...