Brussels has started vaccination of high-risk patients against coronavirus
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Brussels has started vaccination of high-risk patients against coronavirus

Credit: Belga

The Brussels-Capital Region has started the vaccination of its inhabitants with co-morbidities against the coronavirus, the Region’s Common Community Commission (COCOM) said on Friday.

The region is in vaccination phase 1b, which covers people who are over the age of 65, as well as people between 18 and 64 years old, who have been prioritised as they run a greater risk of ending up in hospital when infected with the virus.

“Last weekend, we sent the first invitations to patients with comorbidities aged 61 to 64 and today to patients over 59. We will continue to invite them in a phased manner by age group, from the oldest to the youngest, until this entire target group is vaccinated,” the COCOM said.

The region also started inviting residents aged 60 and over to be vaccinated this week, and has set up a call centre for people to register if they have not yet received an invitation to be vaccinated.

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All regions in the country receive the same number of doses of coronavirus vaccines in proportion to the number of inhabitants, however, Brussels is ahead of Flanders in starting to vaccinate this high-risk patients group.

“We have a slightly younger population relatively speaking, with fewer older people, and as a result, we get to a younger population group more quickly with our quotas,” Inge Neven of the Brussels Health Inspectorate told VRT News.

The willingness to be vaccinated is also lower in Brussels, where only about 65% of people aged over 85 have been vaccinated, whereas in Flanders this is almost 90%.

“So we have to invite more people to get through our number of vaccines,” Neven added. “You invite according to age group, and that’s why the age group goes down faster. So we have gone through the over-65 population faster because there was less response.”

Since Thursday, people can check whether or not they are on the list of high-risk patients drawn up by health insurance funds and GPs, by logging in with their e-ID via the government website myhealthviewer.be.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times