Belgium starts offering extra dose of COVID-19 vaccine before summer to over-80s

In Belgium, Europe, the authorities have made an announcement that they have started offering an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before the summer to residents of the care homes as well as over-80s, with the decision to be made the basis of a single individual and after consultation with their GP.

The people with a weak immune system have been able to get the fourth dose from the beginning of the month of February, but no decision has been made about a possible second booster for the general population before the summer.

Moreover, Sabine Stordeur of Belgium’s Vaccination Taskforce has explained mentioned on Thursday, “The Superior Health Council has recommended that a fourth dose should not be given systematically to people aged 80 and over before the summer.”

She further added, “Instead, it should be approached on an individual basis, specifically depending on the risk factor of certain elderly people or the importance of certain underlying diseases.”

The people who are at an increased risk of contracting the severe COVID-19 infection could then get the fourth dose before the summer if they want one, after having a discussion with their GP.

Along with this, if the health minister of Belgium confirms this strategy at the time of the Interministerial Conference (IMC) on the public health in the coming week. In the second week, the booster vaccination campaign could ideally start about mid-May, according to Stordeur.

In France, the individuals of age 60 as well as over are eligible to receive such a fourth dose, as well as the United Kingdom is administering the second booster shot to over-75s. The nation will mainly target those over 80 years old.

Furthermore, Stordeur mentioned in the statement, “Each country has adopted an age requirement according to its own epidemiological situation. In Belgium, the Sciensano data show that the majority of hospital admissions are for people well over 75 years old and with an average of two underlying diseases, so there was no need for us to consider administering a fourth dose to a younger group.”

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