Flanders' Covid vaccination campaign under way
Since the start of the autumn vaccination campaign, more than 400,000 Covid booster vaccines have been administered in Flanders, according to Health minister Hilde Crevits (CD&V).
In total, more than 2.8 million vaccines are available for Flanders’ autumn programme. The jab is recommended for anyone aged 65 or older, people with lowered immune systems or with certain health conditions, pregnant women and healthcare staff. In Flanders, that amounts to about 2 million people.
Virologist Steven Van Gucht told VRT this was a good start, but he hopes that eventually as many over-65s will opt for the Covid vaccine as for the flu vaccine - about 60 per cent of over-65s. He stressed that Covid was still much more severe than flu. “Now there are Covid patients in hospitals, but not flu patients,” he said. “Flu is also more predictable, while Covid is still evolving.”
He also reminded younger people with chronic conditions of the value of the vaccine: “They often don’t realise that it’s very important for them to get the vaccine anyway. Older people tend to see that need more.”
Vaccination is mainly being done through GPs, pharmacies and home nurses rather than in specialised centres as it was during the pandemic. The vaccine is free, but GPs will normally charge a fee for the appointment.
#FlandersNewsService | Illustration picture shows the start of a vaccination campaign against Covid-19 and the flu, at a nursing home in Kortrijk, September 2023 © BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER