During what is the first stage of Belgium’s coronavirus vaccination campaign residents of care homes are being vaccinated. “15% of the over 80s have received a first dose of the vaccine”, Professor Van Gucht said.
He added that “In Flanders 82% of care home residents have been given a first dose”.
Side effects are rare. The Federal Medicines and Medical Prevention Agency (FAGG) keeps a register of all cases of side effects among people that have been vaccinated.
"Up until now there have been 264 reports of side effects. 262 from the Pfizer vaccine and 2 from the Moderna vaccine. 37 of these were considered serious”, Professor Van Gucht told the press conference.
14 people died shortly after having been given the vaccine. “All of these people were above the age of 70, 5 were older than 90. All the deaths have been thoroughly been investigated and in no case was there a causal link between the vaccination and the death”.
"Every week hundreds of people die in care homes. This is normal. It is to be expected that after a vaccination people will die too”.
Side effects can be reported to FAGG via the agency’s website. Professor Van Gucht said that serious side effect must be reported within 15 days with non-serious side effects needing to be reported within 90 days.