Because Flanders has received tens of thousands of doses from other regions and we are at the end of the first round, there are enough vaccines available. The default should provide teens with complete protection against the start of the new school year. Tomorrow the first invitations will go out for children aged 12-15, who will also be able to sign up for Qvax’s reserve list.
The Pfizer vaccine interval was originally three weeks, but was extended to five weeks in the spring so more people could be given the first shot more quickly. But because we are now at the end of the vaccination campaign, there is room to shorten the time period again. There is sufficient stock available, in part thanks to the federal redistribution of vaccines. For example, last week Flanders received nearly 72,000 additional doses of Pfizer from Brussels and the German-speaking community, which the two regions no longer need. Vaccines were also transferred the previous week.
Significantly, the time period at Pfizer in Flanders has now been reduced to 21 days, with a margin of two days before or after. Anyone who already has an appointment, or has previously had a first injection, cannot apply for a second injection. Full flexibility for the second dose is not possible after this month due to the high vaccination coverage and the busy schedule of vaccination centres, Joris Munins of the Flemish Agency for Health and Welfare says. In Wallonia, everyone can now flexibly book a second injection within 19 to 42 days after the first.
Start of the school year العام
The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved in the European Union for minors. Thus, only those aged 12-15 and 16-17 who have not yet been invited will be able to take advantage of the short term. This way, Care and Health wants to get children’s full immunization coverage to the highest possible level before the school year begins, Munins says. Anyone who does not attend the appointment immediately, for example due to vacation, will receive a new invitation at the end of August or early September.
The various health ministers decided last week to allow the vaccination of adolescents based on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of Health. In its advice, the SC actually preferred not to systematically invite 12-15 year olds, but to opt for an explicit admission procedure. However, Flanders has decided to systematically send a letter of invitation to every 12 to 15 years, although vaccination remains entirely voluntary, as is the case with the rest of the population.
The initials are leaving tomorrow, and effective vaccinations will begin within the next week. The number of invitations each vaccination center can send this week depends on the number of vaccines available to each center.
Adolescents who wish to be vaccinated need the permission of their parents or guardian. This can be done at the vaccination center itself if a parent or guardian is accompanying you, and the staff has been asked to allow additional time for questions during the vaccination. Teens who go to the vaccination center on their own will need written permission. Care and Health has prepared a sample letter for this.
Teens will also be able to sign up for Qvax’s backup list to get their turn faster. In addition, additional advice on vaccination will be given and permission from a parent or guardian must also be obtained.
In some centers, 12-year-old boys were vaccinated last week through uninvited open vaccination moments. It will also be organized in different places over the coming weeks.