Over 85s who qualify for home vaccination won’t get coronavirus vaccine until mid-April
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Over 85s who qualify for home vaccination won’t get coronavirus vaccine until mid-April

Credit: Belga

People aged over 85 years old who qualify for a home vaccination, around 100,000 in Belgium, will not receive their coronavirus shot before mid-April.

They will be vaccinated by their general practitioner with a Johnson & Johnson dose, which means they will have to wait another month, as the pharmaceutical company will only deliver to the EU for the first time in the second half of April.

“However, just one shot of that vaccine is required to fully protect someone. Waiting for a second shot from AstraZeneca would take even longer,” professor of general practice at Ghent University and member of the vaccination task force, Jan De Maeseneer told Het Nieuwsblad.

Starting from next week, the first people over 85 living at home will be expected at a vaccination centre as part of the next step of the rollout strategy in Belgium.

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For those who aren’t able to make the trip to a centre, home vaccinations are being organised, according to De Maeseneer, who said every GP in the country will have to administer doses to between 10 and 20 people.

They have been instructed to wait for the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine before administering doses at people’s homes, to avoid transporting the available Pfizer or AstraZeneca shots from the vaccination centres.

This vaccine, which received approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Thursday, also requires just one shot, meaning the mobile team will only have to make one home visit per person.

“If the GP is reluctant to do the vaccinations himself at home, the mobile team from the vaccination centre can be called in,” said Joris Moonens, spokesperson for the Agency for Care and Health, but these teams also have to wait for the Johnson & Johnson deliveries.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times