Belgium’s Health ministers have decided to open up vaccination against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to children aged 16 and 17 years, Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke said on Saturday at the end of an ad hoc inter-ministerial conference.
Thus far, only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is certified for 16-17-year-olds.
“The vaccination of this target group will not have a direct impact on hospitals’ figures,” the Health Minister said. “But through their contacts – which they also need – they continue to participate in the spreading of the virus within their group and also among other age groups.”
“If a sufficiently high rate of vaccination can be attained, let’s hope that that can also have an impact on infections and, consequently, on the measures applied in their environment, such as schools, youth movements, ….” he added.
Pursuant to the law on patients’ rights, youths aged 16 and 17 years do not need the consent of a parent or guardian to be vaccinated.
However, vaccination against the virus remains voluntary.