People with underlying illnesses already received a third dose as part of their base vaccination schedule as of mid-September, because scientific data has shown that two doses provide less protection. For them, just as for residents of residential care centers who were also among the first groups to receive an additional injection of corona, the Supreme Health Council will now investigate whether a fourth injection is needed.
Beck announced that he had put the question to the Supreme Health Council and that he would also put this item on the agenda of the Joint Ministerial Conference on Public Health.
Virologist Pierre Van Damme, a member of the Health Board who was also present at the press conference, said the board would look into the matter next week. On positive advice, people with immune disorders can receive an invitation as early as the second half of January.
In addition, the Supreme Health Council will also consider a possible booster injection for children aged 12 to 17 years.
3.2 million booster shots
During the press conference, an update on the vaccination campaign in Flanders was also given. For example, Flemish Minister of Welfare Wouter Beke (CD&V) said that 3.2 million booster vaccines have already been used in Flanders. This means that 58.82 percent of adult Flemish people get a raise. We have a 90 percent booster level among people over 65 years old. Over the next two weeks, another million vaccines will be developed. The minister indicated that there is a high response rate to the promotion campaign (92 percent). This means that 8 percent of people who make an appointment don’t show up.
Dirk Deolph, director general of the Health and Welfare Agency, added. In terms of booster doses, he said, Flanders currently trails Iceland, Denmark and the United Kingdom. According to figures from Health and Care, the number of active rejections is “a good 10,000 out of four million invitations, or 0.26 percent.”
At the moment, there are still 113,000 people who have finished the interval between the second and third injections, but have not yet received an invitation. In addition, there are another 140,000 people for whom the intervening period has not yet ended.
More shots will be taken in the coming weeks. In the week of January 10, there are 602,208 in Flanders. This relates to 3,495 first doses, 7,205 second doses, 551,448 booster doses and 39,934 injections for children aged 5 to 11 years.
In the week of January 17, 359,585 shots will be taken in Flanders. This relates to 1,307 first rounds, 1,885 second rounds, 327,952 booster rounds and 28,323 rounds in children ages 5 to 11.
Sibling vaccination together
De Wolf also provided an update on the vaccination of children between the ages of 5 and 11. For example, last week there were already 19 vaccination centers that vaccinated children aged 5-11. Meanwhile, 66 centers have already started sending out invitations. Currently, 74.4 percent of children in that age group are already invited.
According to DeWolf, it is currently difficult to estimate the response. Many invitations are still on the way through the mail and many parents have yet to respond. They are currently aware of 2,721 refusals. But they want to be very careful with these numbers for now.
De Wolf also explained that it is possible to vaccinate siblings together. “From next week, almost everyone will receive an invitation. Parents can then schedule appointments together. There will be plenty of room at the vaccination centres,” he said, but he advises people to contact the vaccination center for practical arrangement.
The General Manager also reiterated that there will be no Covid Safe Ticket for children. They can obtain a certificate of vaccination. This won’t be used in Belgium, but there are countries where it is stricter. This is why Zorg en Gezondheid also wants to make a vaccination certificate available to children.