Belgium specifies priority groups for future coronavirus vaccine
Friday, 17 July 2020
When a coronavirus vaccine is developed, not all Belgians will receive theirs at the same time, Belgium’s Superior Health Council (SHC) decided.
The Risk Management Group (RMG) had asked the Superior Health Council to specify the priority groups and the number of doses required for good vaccination coverage, as Belgium is joining an EU-level group purchase of coronavirus vaccines and all Member States were requested to define their target population for a vaccine.
Health workers, people over 65, and people between 45 and 65 with risk factors will get priority in the event of a vaccine.
Risk factors include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, chronic cardiovascular, lung, kidney and liver diseases. They also include “hematological malignancies up to five years after the diagnosis, and all fixed cancers or cancer treatments,” according to the SHC.
People in the risk factor group “run the risk of developing a severe form of Covid-19.”
“Additional priorities within the above groups may be needed if a limited amount of vaccine were available,” the Council clarified, adding that the recommendation could also be changed depending on the type of vaccine developed.
Some four million Belgians belong to the risk and priority groups, according to the Superior Health Council, a number which it bases on “a narrow collaboration” with Sciensano and the Federal Knowledge Centre for Health Care.
The SHC added that they predict that at least 20 to 30% of people belonging to priority and risk groups will refuse this new vaccination,” stressing the importance of convincing them to do so.