Don’t prioritise high-risk patients for Covid-19 vaccine, says N-VA
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Don’t prioritise high-risk patients for Covid-19 vaccine, says N-VA

Credit: Belga

Several Members of the Federal Parliament from N-VA have supported the call from doctors to start vaccinating against the new coronavirus (Covid-19) per age group, rather than focussing on high-risk patients.

“Leave behind the prioritisation of high-risk patients,” said N-VA politicians Kathleen Depoorter, Frieda Gijbels and Yoleen Van Camp in an opinion piece published in Knack on Thursday.

They argued that, in Brussels, one in three does not have a regular GP and less than 60% of patients have a Global Medical Record (GMD), which could impede efforts to identify high-risk patients.

“It seems a matter of common sense to abandon the discussion about prioritising high-risk patients and to vaccinate everyone as soon as possible, from old to young,” they concluded.

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Last week, it was announced that 45- to 64-year-olds with chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, diabetes or cancer, and 18- to 64-year-olds with blood cancer, chronic liver and kidney disease would be given priority in the vaccination campaign, following a decision made by the High Health Council (HGR).

GPs, who should now start drawing up lists of these patients, around 1.5 million Belgians, together with the mutual health organisations, had previously advocated vaccination by age group.

Categories should be divided by every three, five or ten years, depending on the size of the age group, the Flemish Doctors’ Syndicate (VAS) advised.

It insisted that age can be easily determined, is an objective fact and is also the most determining factor in terms of morbidity and mortality for Covid-19.

Moving forward with this approach also works better logistically, meaning the vaccination planning can be adapted more flexibly to the supply of vaccines, which at the moment is difficult to predict, the doctors argued.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times