Belgium :Vaccination task force : “Everyone in booster shot by early spring”

According to the vaccination task force, our country can give almost everyone a booster shot by the beginning of spring. According to chairman Dirk Ramaekers, the preparations are already in full swing. “We had expected that after the risk groups and the healthcare staff, everyone would be offered a third shot.” There are sufficient vaccines in stock. The challenge will be to continue to find sufficient staff. “We are counting on support from primary care, but they are very busy at the moment. If that continues, the punishment will be a difficult story.” Ramaekers hopes that the third shot will provide long-term protection for at least a year. “Then we can switch to the classic first-line structures for revaccination. The blueprint for this is ready, but the delta variant prevents that.”

British variant was already in our country before it was discovered

Belgian researchers have found virus particles in the body of a Covid patient that closely resemble the now known variants. However, the patient had died long before those variants were reported. Moreover, the virus was not only found in the lungs, but had also penetrated the heart and kidneys. That is exceptional, but not impossible, scientists knew. Still, it is a worrying finding because the virus changes a little bit every time during that phase. This can create new variants that are easier to transfer, respond less to vaccinations and make people sicker. The patient also suffered from cancer, and the researchers see the discovery as evidence that Covid patients with immune disorders should be closely monitored. Because the virus can spread all over the body and infect other organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver and spleen, where it can mutate into more contagious variants. It is not clear whether the virus in this patient’s organs could also spread to other individuals. “If that had indeed happened, we might not have talked about the British variant, but about the Belgian kidney variant,” according to Ghent University. The researchers from UGent and UZ Gent collaborated with the Jessa Hospital in Hasselt for the study. They found variants in the patient that show strong similarities with the current British, South African, Brazilian and mink variants. However, the patient had already died long before there were reports of these new variants. The research has been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

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