Vaccine against Omicron subtypes BA.4 and BA.5 available in Brussels from Friday

Vaccine against Omicron subtypes BA.4 and BA.5 available in Brussels from Friday
Credit: Belga/Nicolas Maeterlinck

As the latest Covid-19 vaccines against the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 were delivered in Belgium last week, they will be available in the remaining four vaccination centres of the Brussels-Capital Region from Friday – with or without an appointment.

The vaccination campaign can be seen as good timing. The number of Covid-19 cases are rising across Belgium, as are the number of hospital admissions in Brussels: the daily average of hospitalisations has gone up from 161 to 215 (+34%) in just one week – an increase that is expected to continue for at least another week.

"In the first four weeks of the campaign, 55,690 booster doses have already been administered. I invite all those who want to get vaccinated not to wait and quickly extend their protection, especially those in a risk group," said Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron.

The vaccine against Omicron subvariant BA.1 is also very effective against the subtypes BA.4 and BA.5 that are now dominant in Belgium. "The main push is for people to get vaccinated now, the type of vaccine is less important, as they are both effective."

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As GPs, medical centres, home nurses and pharmacies also actively participate in the vaccination campaign, the new vaccine will also be rolled out gradually there.

Additionally, it is strongly recommended to get vaccinated now, as the infection peak is expected in the second half of October and the vaccine needs at least ten days to provide effective protection, Maron added.

Like those who are part of a high-risk group (over-65s, over-50s with an underlying condition, people with reduced immunity), healthcare professionals are also urged to get vaccinated as soon as they can to protect themselves, their families and their patients.

Additionally, from Saturday 15 October, people can also receive a double vaccination against Covid-19 and the flu in Brussels' four vaccination centres: interested parties should bring their own flu vaccine that they have obtained from a pharmacy.

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