Coronavirus vaccination of people aged 16 and 17 in Belgium approved
Share article:
Share article:

Coronavirus vaccination of people aged 16 and 17 in Belgium approved

In Israel, younger people are already being vaccinated against the coronavirus. Credit: Belga

All young people between the ages of 16 and 17 should be vaccinated against the coronavirus, the Superior Health Council in Belgium has recommended.

Within this age group, risk patients will be vaccinated quicker, as with adult risk patients, according to the report published on Thursday. 

“Those without comorbidities will be vaccinated according to the modalities planned by the Task Force for the general population during phase 2 of the Belgian campaign. It should be kept in mind that age remains the main driver of the COVID-19 epidemic and that the lower the age group, the smaller the individual benefit of vaccination,” the report stated.

Vaccinating this age group, which represents around 2.16% of the Belgian population, will contribute to increasing the overall percentage of the Belgian population that is vaccinated and the minimum target set by the authorities to vaccinate 70% of the population but will have a limited effect on the pressure on hospitals, as few people of this age group are severely impacted by the virus.

Last Sunday, Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke had already said that he wanted all teenagers aged 16 and 17 in Flanders to get their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by 11 July, but he too was waiting for the opinion of the Superior Health Council.

The positive advice from the council was based on the opinions of experts, as well as a review of the scientific literature, published in scientific journals and reports from (inter)national organisations.

In December, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had originally approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for people aged over 16 based on clinical studies, however, Belgium had not yet announced it would be administering the dose in people under the age of 18.

At the start of May, EMA began its evaluation of whether the use of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine can be extended to include young people aged 12 to 15, based on results from a large ongoing clinical study involving adolescents from 12 years old.

The Supreme Health Council is also considering its recommendations for the vaccination of children aged 12 to 15, however, with the current knowledge, it said it believes that there is still too little data, too many uncertainties and many important ethical and scientific questions regarding vaccination of this age group.

It added that, in this context, it will also look at its recommendations for children aged 12-15 years, but stated that for healthy children, there is still too little data, too many uncertainties and many important ethical and scientific questions, especially when it comes to balancing the benefits with the risks of mass vaccination in younger people.

Latest news

Mayor wants to close two Brussels bars where alleged sexual assaults took place
Ixelles' Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said that he’d like to close the two bars that employed a man accused of raping multiple patrons, ...
‘Untenable’: Mayor says situation at Brussels North station is out of control
The situation at Brussels North Station is no longer tenable, Schaerbeek's mayor Cécile Jodogne (Défi) says. Drug dealing, homelessness, ...
Suicide second-leading cause of death among European youth
Suicide is the number two killer among young people living in Europe, a recent Unicef report on the state of their mental health found. The ...
‘Too little, too late’: Brussels mayors criticise CST implementation
After a two week delay, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will become mandatory in several situations in Brussels from today (Friday). Some mayors blame a ...
Sciensano expert warns of rising Covid-19 cases this winter
The return of colder weather and the relaxing of health measures are giving rise to new Covid-19 contaminations and hospitalisations around Belgium, ...
Hospital food is making you sick, Belgian study shows
Eating hospital meals results in a measurable decline in health, according to a report from the Flemish television network VTM, which paints a ...
Belgium in Brief: Supply Issues
There are few things more jarring than walking into a store and finding that the shelves are empty, be that partially or otherwise. One thing ...
Stolen Magritte painting on display for first time in ten years
Surrealist painter René Magritte's work "Olympia", which made headlines across the world when it was stolen from a museum in Belgium in 2009, will be ...
Brussels airport pilots ’15 minute’ PCR test
Brussels Airport has announced that it will soon begin a trial of an ultra-fast PCR test able to detect Covid-19 in 15 minutes, a far faster ...
Over 1,000 demonstrators march in Brussels following sexual assault allegations
Around 1,300 people gathered in Ixelles on Thursday night to march against sexual violence, according to reporting from Bruzz. The march was ...
Covid Safe Ticket mandatory in Brussels, but no fines yet
The Brussels-Capital Region will expand the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) from today (Friday), but it will take a few days before rule-breakers ...
Belgium hosts ‘farewell party’ for Merkel today
Angela Merkel will be in Belgium on Friday for an official visit as a symbolic "farewell" before leaving her position as German Chancellor after 16 ...