Residents of nursing homes currently seem to get sicker if they contract a corona infection than when that group was first vaccinated, say health organizations Verenso and Actiz.
These are fully vaccinated residents who have not yet had a booster shot.
This may indicate a reduced effectiveness of the vaccines, but also the influence of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
What is the current situation in nursing homes?
At the moment, the corona virus has been diagnosed in 983 nursing homes.
In comparison, at the height of the first wave, there were 828, and 876 during the third.
In the last few weeks, approximately twenty deaths per day have been reported to RIVM from nursing homes.
This was about fifty at the peak of the corona wave last year.
In addition, the number of infections in nursing homes has never been higher.
Verenso calls the situation in nursing homes "worrying".
Although "the vast majority" of the residents have been vaccinated, the spokesperson for industry association ActiZ says that the symptoms of the residents are now more severe than at the start of the vaccination campaign.
Professional association Verenso also sees this.
"Where patients previously seemed to get less sick, that now seems to be less the case."
In a response, RIVM says it does not yet have a good idea of whether the nursing home residents are now becoming less ill, or actually getting sicker than before.
The institute is trying to get more data about this.
Percentage of deaths in nursing homes at last year level
One in five nursing home residents died in recent months from the consequences of COVID-19, calculated professor of parental medicine Cees Hertogh Monday. That percentage is roughly the same as last year, when no one had been vaccinated yet. Over the whole of 2020, even more nursing home residents died from the consequences of COVID-19 last year: about fifty a day.
The current situation in nursing homes is not necessarily the result of a less effective vaccine.
The emergence of the delta variant may also have made the situation worse.
It could possibly be more aggressive than the 'regular' variant of the virus, Hertogh said.
"We also don't know what would have happened if the people whose data we examined had not been vaccinated. There could have been even more deaths."
Why more and more vaccinated people end up in hospital
Start boostershot campaign 'good cause'
According to Hertogh, the figures show that the administration of booster shots is important, so that the nursing home resident gets an extra boost in their protection against the virus.
Verenso and ActiZ endorse this.
"It is great that we can now give them a booster, with which we can limit the risk of a more serious course of the disease," says chairman Jacqueline De Groot of Verenso on the site.
Last week, booster shots were administered in nursing homes.
Nearly 82,000 extra shots have now been taken.
The effectiveness of vaccinations remains high, but decreases more rapidly among the elderly than among the young.
Because this makes them even more vulnerable, the elderly are the first to receive such a booster shot.
It is also necessary to reduce the number of infections in society in general, says De Groot.
The virus also comes with visitors and staff in nursing homes.
"We won't get there with just a booster."
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