The AstraZeneca vaccine will finally be administered to those over 55 in Belgium, allowing the authorities to "
" the anti-Covid vaccination of the elderly, Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke announced on Wednesday evening.
Read also: AstraZeneca vaccine accessible to over 65s: a new missed opportunity to simplify the French strategy
A month ago, Belgium decided to initially reserve the AstraZeneca vaccine for 18-55 year olds, for lack of sufficient data on its effectiveness beyond this age.
But recent studies in the UK and Israel have shown that it "
also offers people over the age of 55 good protection against illness and hospitalization linked to COVID-19,
" said a statement released to the United States. 'resulting from a meeting of all the ministers - at the federal level and the regions - responsible for Health.
The ministers decided to follow the positive opinion given on Tuesday by the Higher Health Council.
As a result of this expansion, "
the vaccination of people over 65 (around 2.2 million people) can begin immediately, preferably in older people
," the statement added.
This should make it possible to speed up the protection of the most vulnerable
To date, Belgium, a country of 11.5 million inhabitants, has vaccinated 5.70% of its population over the age of 18 with a first dose (approximately 525,000 people), and 3.47% with the two injections required (320,000).
Since January, priority has been given to residents and employees of retirement homes, then to hospital staff, and from February to so-called “
, dentists and medical professionals working in town.
This vaccination campaign is criticized for its slowness and Frank Vandenbroucke himself admitted Sunday "
" and "
Vaccination in collective centers of people over 65, the next step planned from next week, risked a difficult start by relying only on the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
Belgium has reserved a total of some 7.7 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, the largest of its anti-Covid vaccine orders.