So far, about 312,000 people have put themselves on the Qvvax reserve list to get their booster shot against the coronavirus more quickly, the Flemish Care and Health Agency announced on Friday.
Since Belgium decided to shorten the waiting period after a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine before being able to get a booster shot, over 300,000 people have registered to get the extra dose now instead of at the end of January.
“In recent weeks, we have already seen a great deal of interest from people in signing up for the reserve list,” Joris Moonens of the Agency for Care and Health told VRT. “So, it comes as no surprise that so many people are registering now.”
On Thursday, the counter still stood at 264,000 people on the Qvax reserve list, meaning a lot of extra people registered in just one day. “It is nice to see that the willingness to be vaccinated is still very high in Flanders,” he said.
On Friday, some 8,000 people received an invitation via Qvax. They will receive their booster shot today or one of the following days.
Brussels residents can also register to get invited more quickly, but they have to use the Bruvax platform.
On Wednesday evening, the Interministerial Health Conference (IMC) decided that Belgian residents who were initially vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines (which is the majority of the population) will now only have to wait four months instead of six before receiving a booster dose.
The decision was made because the booster is “a key element in the fight against Covid-19 that increases the effectiveness of the protection against the new Omicron variant,” the Vaccination Taskforce stated in a press release.
The waiting period after the last dose of an AstraZeneca vaccine remains at four months, while a two-month period remains in place for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In concrete terms, this means that the vaccination centres will adjust their capacity and invite more people sooner, and Flanders announced that it planned to administer up to 800,000 doses per week so nearly everyone could get a booster by the end of January.