Belgium: In search of monkeypox vaccine, people travelling to France

Many people from Belgium are now crossing the border to receive vaccinations against the monkeypox virus in France as a result of the rigorous qualifying requirements in Belgium and concern about the rapid spread of the infection, according to the sources.

Only about 3,000 anti-virus vaccinations are now in storage in Belgium, and the new supply won’t start until the fall. Cases are increasing in the interim. As of August 3, there were 482 cases in Belgium alone, an increase of more than 20% over the previous week. Globally, there are currently about 22,000 instances.

According to preliminary statistics, the virus is mainly spreading among males who have sex with men. This puts tremendous strain on Belgium’s LGBTQ+ population and even increases societal stigma. Fearing the rapid spread of the virus, many people in this neighbourhood are scrambling to find safety.

Belgian requirements for getting the virus vaccine are a bit more stringent than those in France.

Seriously immunocompromised Belgians, male or transgender sex workers, men who engage in sexual activity with men at high risk of exposure (HIV PrEP users, HIV positive men), HIV clinic healthcare providers, and other sexual health medical professionals personnel are all eligible for vaccination.

LGTBQ+ Despite being theoretically eligible, Belgians are experiencing problems getting these vaccinations. Some people might not be considered sexually active enough to qualify, but they still want to keep their loved ones safe. Only the first four days after infection, even Belgians who have contracted the virus, are eligible for vaccination.

A gay guy from Brussels named Victor informed that he travelled to Lille, France, to have a vaccination. He clarified, “Not just for myself, but also for the people around me.” Victor scheduled a meeting in France since the requirements in Belgium were too stringent.

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