Belgium to open anti-COVID vaccination to 16-17 year olds

Belgium to open anti-COVID vaccination to 16-17 year olds
Belgium to open anti-COVID vaccination to 16-17 year olds

BRUSSELS | Belgium will open up vaccination against the coronavirus to young people aged 16-17 from July, politicians announced on Saturday at the end of an interministerial conference.

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“The vaccination of this age group will be carried out in the wake of that of 18-year-olds. From July, they will begin to receive an invitation regarding the first dose, ”said the ministers of health of this federal state, in a statement.

These injections will be made with the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, which has received approval from the European Medicines Agency (Ema) for this age group, they said.

France announced this week the opening of vaccination for young people aged 12 to 18 from June 15. Other European countries have taken similar steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In Belgium, “the vaccination of children under 16 is not yet considered. Complementary scientific and ethical analyzes are necessary for this purpose, ”the Belgian interministerial public health conference said on Saturday.

She also asked to study the possibility “of allowing young people between the ages of 18 and 40 to make an informed choice in favor of vaccination with Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca”. These vaccinations, if they were finally authorized for this age group, would be done “on a voluntary basis”.

The Belgian authorities are currently reserving the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines for over 40s, suspected of causing very rare cases of thrombosis, after suspicious deaths. But the fear of the arrival of new variants pushes to consider widening the public of these vaccines in order to accelerate the vaccination campaign.

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