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Everybody should be offered a booster by March: how are we doing?

Belgium intends to offer a booster jab to all adults in coming months.  Meanwhile many have already received this extra protection against coronavirus.

Nearly two million people or some 16.5% of residents in Belgium have already had the booster. This works out at around one adult in five.

In Flanders 18% of the entire population has been boosted.  For Wallonia the figure is nearly 15%, while in Brussels it’s only 9%.

The booster programme started in September with boosters for people with weakened immunity: cancer patients, people who require dialysis, etc. The booster for this group was decided after it became clear their immunity from earlier jabs quickly waned. Today 85% of people with reduced immunity have had the booster.

At the end September the decision was taken to offer the booster to everybody in care homes and, at the end of the day, to all over 65s. Today 65% of over 65s in Flanders have had their booster.

Care staff were the next priority group with 46% of health care staff in Flanders now boosted.

Last month it was decided to offer a booster to the population at large.  On Tuesday the first boosters are being administered in Flanders to under 65s with no health issues.  In Brussels the programme is already underway.

People are being invited to come forward in age bands.  The date of your last jab and the brand also play a role.  People who got the one-jab Janssen vaccine (aka Johnson & Johnson) qualify after only two months.  For AstraZeneca it’s after four months and for Pfizer and Moderna it’s after six months.By the end of February everybody should be boosted or at least have had the opportunity!

People eager to get the booster and unwilling to wait for their official invite can register for the reserve list on qvax.be in Flanders and bruvax.be in Brussels and will be called up when a dose is available as soon as they qualify.

Many European nations are now pressing ahead with a booster programme.  At the minute Belgium is sixth in the table of countries showing their share of the population that is boosted.  Belgium is behind Iceland, Hungary, Austria, Malta, and the Republic of Ireland.

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