While Brussels has started priority vaccination for 'patients at risk', Flemings still need to wait: how can this gap be explained?

In Brussels, people with underlying health problems younger than 65 years can get their corona vaccination as from this week. Why is Brussels so much faster than Flanders where patients at risk will to wait until the end of April? And how are the different regions performing?

The vaccination scheme for patients who are more at risk to develop a severe form of Covid because they are nursing other health problems (such as lung issues, cancer, cardiovascular diseases etc.) started last Tuesday, at least in the Brussels Region. In Flanders, patients will probably have to wait until the end of the month. This is because it takes more time in Flanders finalise the 65+ category that comes first. 

The Brussels health authorities sent the first invitations to patients particularly at risk and aged between 61 and 64 last weekend. Still, the number of doses is equally shared between the regions according to population numbers. 

In the 85+ age category, 90 percent of the people were vaccinated in Flanders, compared to 65 percent in  Brussels

Inge Neven of the Brussels health inspection explains that "the Brussels population is younger in general", which means that the number of older people is proportionally smaller. "Also, we saw that a bigger number of old people declined the invitation." Which allowed Brussels to move on to the next priority category faster. 

This figure tells us a lot: while in Flanders 90 percent of all people above 85 years of age were vaccinated, this number is only 65 percent in Brussels because people were less eager to get the jab.

 If we look at overall figures, we see that:

  • 14.3 percent of the adult Brussels population has been vaccinated so far
  • this number has climbed to 17 percent in Flanders
  • Wallonia is doing even better with an overall vaccination rate of 19.1 percent at present

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