All 12-to-15-year-olds to be offered the jab in Flanders

Belgian health ministers have approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for 12-to-15-year-olds.  Youngsters will need permission from a parent or guardian to get the jab.  Jabbing will start n the course of the month.

Flemish health minister Beke (Christian democrat) says the interministerial public health conference took its decision after the high council for health approved the idea. Mr Beke added the immunisation will further enhance popular immunity.

In coming weeks all 12-to-15-year-olds will receive an invitation for the jab.  In Flanders the first children in this age bracket will probably receive the jab in the week of 19 July.

12-to-15-year-olds with underlying health complaints were already eligible.

There are some 299,000 12-to-15-year-olds in Flanders.  The children will need permission of a parent or a guardian.  Permission can be granted by accompanying the youngster or providing a written statement.

The high council for health yesterday OKed the jab for 12-to-15-year-olds, but said it needn’t be rolled out for all systematically.  This advice has now been partially ignored.  Experts says 12-to-15-year-olds run a small risk of becoming seriously ill.

Flemish health minister Beke: “By vaccinating this age group we are contributing to increasing the general level of vaccination.  This is important especially given the rise of cases linked to the delta variant.”

“The more children that get the jab, the less the virus can circulate.  In this way the chance that children pass on the virus to others, who are more vulnerable, is reduced.”

Children unable to take up the offer now, e.g. due to holiday plans, will get a second opportunity at the end of August or in September.

12-to-15-year-olds receive the Pfizer vaccine, the only vaccine OKed for under 18s in the EU.

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