Belgium has decided which people with an underlying condition will be given priority for a Covid-19 vaccine from March, along with people over 65 years old, Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke announced.
On Wednesday, the Interministerial Conference on Public Health, which is made up of the different health ministers of Belgium's federal and regional governments, agreed on a fixed list of which conditions qualify.
"It concerns people with underlying conditions who run an increased risk of becoming infected and ending up in hospital," Beke told VTM Nieuws (video). "The health insurance associations have the patients' data, which will be enriched with data from GPs in order to be able to clearly delineate this group."
For 45 to 64-year-olds, priority will be given to people with:
- A chronic respiratory disorder
- A chronic cardiovascular disease
- Obesity (BMI above 30)
- Diabetes type 1 and 2
- A chronic neurological disorder
- A malignant cancerous tumour
- An officially diagnosed high blood pressure.
For 18-64 year-olds, priority goes to people with:
- Blood cancer
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic renal insufficiency
- Chronic liver disease
- Down syndrome
- A weakened immune system
- AIDS or HIV
- An officially diagnosed 'rare disease'
- Organ transplant recipients, or people on the waiting list
"The aim is to vaccinate these groups after the group of over-65s, and maybe also to vaccinate them together if possible," Beke said. "If all goes well, that might happen in the period March-April."
This afternoon, Beke will give a more in-depth explanation about the decision in the Flemish Parliament, he said.
On Wednesday evening, the vaccination taskforce will draw up a new planning, following the decision not to use AstraZeneca's vaccine for people over 55 years old.
The Brussels Times