Belgium: Hospitals allows to administer vaccinations against monkeypox preventively

Belgium: Three additional hospitals in the Brussels-Capital Region, the University Hospital (UZ Brussels), the Erasmus Hospital as well as the Saint-Luc Hospital – will now be allowed to administer vaccinations against monkeypox preventively.

Till, preventive vaccination was only possible in the CHU Saint-Pierre hospitals in Brussels, but the government’s Risk Management Group (EMG) made the decision on Thursday evening o allow vaccination in three more health care centres, according to the sources.

She mentioned in the statement, “The decision was made late last night. Today, our infectiology team is looking into how we will arrange this in practice. At the moment, we do not yet know when we will be able to start administering doses.”

Due to Belgium’s present shortage of vaccinations, not everyone who wants to get vaccinated can get one, even though the demand for prophylactic immunisation against the virus is rising quickly.

According to existing laws, only four specified types of persons are qualified to receive a preventative vaccination, in addition to those who had very high-risk contact with an infected person:

· Male and transgender sex workers, males who have intercourse with other guys and are HIV-positive or using PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), and who have acquired at least two STDs in the past year,

· Persons who are at a high risk of infection and have severe immune abnormalities, such as uncontrolled HIV infection, immunosuppressed drug reactions (such as after transplantation), malignant blood illnesses, congenital immunological deficiencies, etc.

· Workers are working with viral cultures in the lab.

A total of 482 monkeypox cases have been reported in Belgium as of today, with 172 of them occurring in Brussels, according to the most recent statistics released by the Sciensano National Health Institute on August 2.

Nine reference centres in Belgium have received a tentative distribution of a little over 3,000 monkeypox vaccinations. The hospital CHU Saint-Pierre got 820 doses. According to Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, Belgium will get an additional 30,000 vaccinations against the virus after the summer.


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