Young people between the ages of 12 and 15 can now also get vaccinated against the coronavirus in Belgium if they have parental consent, the Inter-Ministerial Conference (IMC) on Health decided on Wednesday.
For now, only the Pfizer vaccine will be used for this age group, and a parent must either accompany the child to the vaccination centre or give written consent for the vaccination, according to Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke.
“The risk a 12- to 15-year-old faces of becoming seriously ill from a coronavirus infection are small. Nevertheless, the vaccination of this target group is very important, as it contributes to increasing the general vaccination rate and thus to achieving group immunity,” he said in a press release.
“The more children are vaccinated, the less the virus and variants can circulate in this group. Especially with the increase in the number of infections due to the Delta variant, it is important to achieve as high general vaccination coverage as possible for group immunity,” Beke added.
The approximately 299,000 people in this age group living in Flanders and 145,000 teenagers in Brussels will receive an invitation by mail at their home address for a vaccination with Pfizer in the coming weeks.
Flanders will start administering the first vaccines to 12 to 15-year-olds in the week of 19 July. Brussels is looking at how to target this age group, whilst Wallonia has not yet confirmed when it will start vaccinating younger people.