De strenge lockdown: kan het anders?

Translated title of the contribution: The strict lockdown: is there an alternative?

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlePopular


This contribution critically discusses a call in December 2020 from a number of political economists, health care scientists and experts in administrative science, united in the HERSTEL-NL initiative, to come to a better corona policy. They call it ‘risk-based corona policy’. The background of this call is that the strict lockdown is constantly being extended and is generating more and more irritation, especially among young people. The question is how in such alternative corona policy all social welfare costs can be taken into account, namely on the one hand the costs to the health system and of curbing the number of deaths, but on the other hand also the material and, above all, immaterial economic and social costs. Epidemiological SIR models with built-in socio-economic behaviour show that policies aimed at specifically protecting those at high risk of serious illness bring about less societal costs, than when contact restrictions apply equally to all groups in society. In that sense, the risk-based corona policy advocated by the HERSTEL-NL initiative seems a good idea. It is necessary, however, that the measures to prevent contagion of the high risk groups (elderly and those with serious health problems) are designed as well as possible and are also feasible and enforceable. When more and more people have been vaccinated and it has been demonstrated that this vaccination offers sufficient protection to the high risk groups, a transition to a less strict lockdown according to the risk-based policy seems warranted. However, in the present situation where various different vaccines are to be used, for a good analysis of how the pandemic develops it is necessary that the SIR model is extended with various age groups and groups with receivers of the different vaccines. In this way the analysis may reckon with the various degrees of protection of the vaccines.
Translated title of the contributionThe strict lockdown: is there an alternative?
Original languageDutch
Number of pages1
Issue numberJanuary 19th
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2021


  • corona policy
  • Lockdown
  • SIR model
  • vaccination


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