Professor Van Gucht “The virus isn’t going to disappear”

Speaking at Tuesday morning’s National Crisis Centre press conference the virologist Steven Van Gucht stressed the importance of the role that vaccination will play in allowing us to return to normality. 

"For most people the virus is mild, but who wants to take part in this kind of lottery? Anyone that isn’t vaccinated will very probably become infected sooner or later. The virus isn’t going to disappear”, the virologist said.

Professor Van Gucht’s message to those having doubts about getting vaccinated was clear “The vaccine has been proved to be safe and effective. It keeps you out of hospital. The effects are already evident among the oldest and weakest members of society. It’s possible that there might be side effects for 1 to 2 days afterwards: muscle pain, headache, mild fever. Paracetamol can help. These reactions are mostly mild. More than 300 million people have been vaccinated worldwide without any unexpected side effects."

"From more than 100 years’ experience with other vaccines we know that side effects mainly come early on, mostly after 1 or 2 days or sometimes after 1 or 2 weeks but are never long term. This is in great contrast to the virus”, Professor Van Gucht added.

"It has been proved with certainty that coronavirus can cause long-term issues. This is also the case among young and healthy people. Many studies speak of at least 10% of infections leading to long-term issues. We know that the virus can lead to people being hospitalised. This is the case in 7% of the known infections. And we know that it can kill people. 1% of case end in death. This percentage is considerably higher among the very old and much lower among younger people”.

“But this doesn’t change the fact that for most people the virus is mild. But who wants to take part in this kind of lottery. Those that don’t get vaccinated will probably become infected sooner or later. The virus won’t disappear. It will continue to circulate, and it is very probable that most people will become infected with it in the months or years to come. Certainly, if they haven’t been vaccinated. You can avoid the chance of serious complications by getting yourself vaccinated”. 

Top stories