More than 30,000 children in Belgium already received first vaccine dose

More than 30,000 children in Belgium already received first vaccine dose
Credit: CDC

Slightly more than 30,000 children aged five to 11 in Belgium have received the first dose of Pfizer's adjusted coronavirus vaccine since the vaccination of this age group was approved in December.

In total, 30,228 children between the ages of five and 11 have received their first injection, of whom 27,722 are registered in Flanders, Dirk Ramaekers, head of the Vaccination Taskforce, stated in a press briefing on Saturday morning.

Some 1,975 children received their first dose in Brussels, which started vaccinating this younger age group two days after the government gave the green light to administer a lower dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine (10 µg compared with 30 µg), which was approved b the European Medicines Agency (EMA) at the end of November last year.

In Wallonia and the German-speaking region in Belgium, just 266 and 183 children have received the vaccine, respectively. Calls for the vaccination of young children against Covid-19 grew as infections spread rapidly among pupils in primary schools.

91% of healthcare workers protected

In Belgium, more than 8.9 million people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, of whom 8.83 million have been fully vaccinated, representing 77% of Belgium's entire population, according to the latest figures from the health institute Sciensano.

Meanwhile, some 5.6 million people received a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine.

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More than nine out of ten health care workers (91%) are fully vaccinated. Since 1 January, anyone working in this field is given three months to be vaccinated against the coronavirus as part of the mandatory vaccination measure which was announced for people working in this sector, from nurses and doctors to pharmacists and physiotherapists.

Of the 538,896 health care workers in Belgium, 490,246 have been fully vaccinated according to the latest figures, meaning just under 50,000 people working in this sector are still unvaccinated. In Brussels, just 75% of staff in the sector are vaccinated, compared to 86% in Wallonia and 95% in Flanders.

From 1 April, when the full obligation comes into force for all health care staff, those who are not vaccinated are expected to be dismissed or suspended for six months. According to Ramaekers, the last legal steps for the mandatory vaccination of health care workers are being decided on at the moment.

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