Flanders is expected to send out the first vaccination invitations to people under 65 with no underlying conditions next week, the Flemish Agency for Care and Health announced on Wednesday evening.
Last Friday, Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke had announced that, by Whit Monday, one in two people of the Flemish population will be vaccinated, and that the target of administering a first dose to the over-65s and patients at risk should be reached by the week before.
The vaccination campaign is therefore on schedule, according to Joris Moonens, the agency’s spokesman.
“This means that it is now time to send invitations to people younger than 65,” Moonens added.
“40% of our adult population has received their first dose. In the coming weeks, we will continue to vaccinate people with conditions as a priority, and we will start with the -65-year-olds by the end of this month,” Flemish Agency for Care and Health said on Twitter on Wednesday.
40% van onze 18+ bevolking heeft zijn eerste💉gekregen 💪 Komende weken blijven we mensen met aandoeningen prioritair vaccineren, tegen eind deze maand starten we met de -65-jarigen. Onze vaccinatieteller is nu geüpdatet met bevolkingscijfers v 1/1/2021, met dank aan @Statbel_nl pic.twitter.com/BFTNKlWYyo
— Zorg en Gezondheid (@ZorgVlaanderen) May 12, 2021
Moonens highlighted that the schedule will differ between the region’s vaccination centres, but that the agency expects invitations for vaccination to be sent out next week.
“This means that people who are younger than 65 can be vaccinated in the week of 24 May, and others in the week of 31 May,” the spokesman said.
On Wednesday, Belgium’s health ministers decided that people getting vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s coronavirus jab will receive their second shot after eight weeks, instead of after 12.
The shortening of the waiting period between AstraZeneca’s doses means that the final phase of Belgium’s vaccination campaign can be accelerated and everyone should be fully vaccinated by mid-August, according to the Vaccination Taskforce.
Meanwhile, in Brussels, people over the age of 45 are being urged to make an appointment for a coronavirus vaccine, as the Common Community Commission (COCOM) says there are still “several thousand” slots free this week.
The vaccination coverage is lower in Brussels than in the other two regions of Belgium: in Flanders, 95% of people over 65 are vaccinated, and in Wallonia, that number is more than 80%, whereas in Brussels this figure lies below 80%