Belgium will offer priority vaccination against Covid-19 to 20% of its population, amounting to over 2 million people, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced.
Health personnel, people over 65 years old and citizens with health conditions are set to be first in line to get vaccinated for the new coronavirus.
"Those three groups make up about 20% of of the population," De Croo said. "By protecting them first, we can avoid putting too much pressure on hospitals if the virus started circulating again, because it is vulnerable people that end up in the hospital quicker."
- Antwerp institute will study ‘vaccine hesitancy’ in Belgium
- Vaccination represents less than 0.5% of Belgium's health care budget
- Free, but not mandatory: What we know about Belgium's vaccine plan
With the first sufficiently large vaccines batches expected to arrive around April at the earliest, De Croo's statements meant hat younger and healthy segments of the population will have to wait several months more before having access to the jab, 7sur7 reports.
"We there still have a relatively long period before us during which we will have to remain particularly vigilant," the prime minister said. "It is not because the first doses are set to arrive by the end of the month of December that everyone will be vaccinated in the coming months."
"We are therefore not quite yet back to normal, but we will soon be able to protect those who are the most vulnerable," he said.
According a previously unveiled vaccination strategy, vaccination against the virus causing the global pandemic will be administered to Belgians on a voluntary basis.
The jab will be offered for free and the government has set the goal of inoculating at least 70% of the population, according to a press release.
The Brussels Times