Image: ©Hollandse Hoogte

COVID-19 vaccination: The Moderna vaccine and the vaccination strategy

Those aged 60 and above are at greatest risk of severe morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. The Moderna vaccine is very efficacious in this group. Accordingly, the Health Council recommends that it be used in elderly people aged 60 and above as soon as possible, starting with the oldest age groups, regardless of whether or not they belong to a medical risk group. Vaccination of the elderly will mitigate the burden of disease in this group. This will ease the pressure on the healthcare system by reducing the influx of patients to hospitals. At the same time, the need for home-care services will decrease, and outbreaks in care institutions will be prevented. Thus, it is important for the vaccines that are currently available to be used in the elderly (those who still live at home, as well as the residents of long-term care institutions). The Health Council feels that at least 90% of the Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine supplies should be reserved for vaccinating the elderly. The Council’s advice is that allowance should be made for scenarios in which these vaccines become available later, or in smaller quantities than expected. It also recommends that the vaccination programme be designed to facilitate the ongoing implementation of the chosen vaccination strategy.