What message would you send to the “hesitant” to convince them of the usefulness of being vaccinated? This is the question we asked specialists in infectious diseases, immunology, virology and pharmacy. Here are their responses.
Pr Sophie Lucas, professor of immunology at UCLouvain, Institut de Duve : “Look around carefully, calmly, and objectively. In countries where vaccination has progressed well, the SARS-Cov-2 virus and its variants no longer cause suffering except in people who could not, or who did not want to receive the vaccine. In countries where vaccination has not been made accessible to all, the virus and its variants are hitting populations cruelly. Take this chance that is offered to you, hoping that it will be quickly offered to all!”
Pri Leila Belkhir, infectious disease specialist, department of internal medicine and infectious diseases, Saint-Luc university clinics, lecturer at UCLouvain: “Vaccination is one of the greatest inventions in the history of medicine. Here again, vaccination against Covid not only protects oneself but also protects others, in particular, those who respond less well to vaccines (the immunocompromised) and who are at risk of developing severe forms.“.
Pr. Michel Goldman, professor of immunology, ULB: “Faced with the Delta variant, don’t wait any longer to decide on your choice. Solicit those to whom you entrust your health to obtain the answers to your legitimate questions. Take advantage of the available vaccines as soon as possible. This is how you will avoid new suffering linked to a 4th wave which is already appearing in several nearby countries.“.
Dr. Nicolas Dauby, specialist in infectious diseases at CHU Saint-Pierre, and post-doctoral specialist FRS-FNRS, ULB: “No one is immune to a severe form, as we have seen with the genetic mutations linked to severe forms in young people. Long-term Covid is not a myth and can impact your quality of life and your ability to work for weeks after infection. We all benefit from vaccination which is part of the social contract, at the health level but also economically. The fourth wave will mainly affect the unvaccinated, including children and young people“.
Pr Pierre Coulie, professor of immunology at UCLouvain, Institut de Duve: “Be careful because the SARS-CoV-2 variants that will continue to arrive here will necessarily be more contagious, and perhaps one day also more dangerous. You have a possibility to protect yourself, use it because it can quickly be too late. And then, think of the others.”
Dr Jean Ruelle, virologist and FNRS qualified researcher at the UCLouvain Institute for Experimental and Clinical Research: “The first interest is save lives. Secondly, we will avoid facing waves of hospitalization which, beyond the human aspects, have an enormous societal cost, jeopardizing our health care systems, and which will indirectly require health restrictions and their various consequences. Finally, when vaccination has progressed globally, we will slow down the evolution of the virus. and the dispersal of new future variants “.
Prof. Jean-Michel Dogné, director of the pharmacy department of the University of Namur and member of the vaccination task force : “I did not choose to get sick from Covid-19 but I can choose to be vaccinated. We all want the same. Do not remain a spectator of this pandemic and get out of it as quickly as possible. No one will be safe from Covid-19 until everyone is protected from the virus and its variants. Vaccines are now available. They are particularly safe and effective, especially against severe forms of the disease, and they reduce the risk of transmission. Seizing the opportunity to get vaccinated as early as possible is the most effective way to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on healthcare, public health and the economy today.“.
Pr Michel Moutschen, head of the infectious disease department at the CHU de Liège: “The Covid virus is rapid both in terms of the manifestations it causes in infected individuals and in the generation of variants. Give your immune system a head start. This is crucial for you but also for our society: get yourself vaccinated.”
Dr Eric Muraille, biologist and immunologist, ULB “Vaccines are not just personal protection. They reduce the viral load and consequently the transmission of the virus. By vaccinating yourself, you protect yourself effectively for a long time and you help protect those around you, at the cost of minimal risk..” : “Vaccines are not just personal protection. They reduce the viral load and consequently the transmission of the virus. By vaccinating yourself, you protect yourself effectively for a long time and you help protect those around you, at the cost of minimal risk.“.
Dr Yves Van Laethem, infectious disease specialist, CHU Saint-Pierre and President of the vaccination section of the Higher Health Council: “All for one, one for all!“.