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Belgium urged to vaccinate 12-17 year olds

Credit: Belga

Belgium should extend plans to vaccinate 16-17-year-olds and offer the vaccine to children as young as 12, Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo said on Wednesday. 

Belgium’s various health ministers are due to decide on vaccinating 16-17-year-olds during the inter-ministerial conference (CIM) on health on Wednesday, but Di Rupo wants them to go even further.

“When we were babies, we were vaccinated. And it is because we were vaccinated that we are here today,” Di Rupo told DH Radio ahead of the meeting. 

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“If we had not been vaccinated, we would probably have serious diseases or we would no longer exist. So yes, I’m all for vaccinating 15 to 17 year olds, and even 12 to 17 year olds,” he added.

The Commission Approves

On Monday, the European Commission gave the official green light to administer Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine to children aged 12 and over.

The vaccine had initially been approved for use for people starting from 16 years old, but the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday stated that it was also safe for children from 12 to 15 years old, making it the first vaccine to be approved for this age group.

Young people do not usually become severely ill from the coronavirus, but they often meet a lot of people and can therefore pass on the virus, which is why experts are increasingly advocating that they get the jab as well.

“Member States can now choose to expand their vaccination rollout to young people,” said European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides on Twitter. “To put an end to the crisis, every dose counts.”

The Brussels Times