OVERVIEW. Third of children received first vaccination: Antwerp province leads in vaccinations for 5 to 11-year-olds – Archyde

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Around 135,000 children in the province of Antwerp between the ages of 5 and 11 are eligible for a vaccination against the coronavirus. All but a very small minority received an invitation. More than a third of the children have now also received their first injection. This emerges from a survey Official Journal of Antwerp in the primary supply zones (ELZs).

This puts the province of Antwerp among the better students in the class in Flanders. Almost all children were invited there too (99.3%), but the vaccination rate remains at 17% for the time being.

(See the above image in large format here)

“We are now at almost 40%, which means that the vaccination campaign has started smoothly,” says Sarah Verherstraeten of ELZ Baldemore (Balen-Dessel-Mol-Retie region). “In contrast to the vaccinations for adults and young people from the age of 12, we do not suggest a date, but parents can set their vaccination time themselves: on Wednesday afternoon or on Saturday. The only stumbling block are cancellations due to a corona infection or an imposed quarantine.”

You will also notice that in the ELZ Klein-Brabant. “Some appointments are now being canceled due to infections and quarantines,” says Leen Lejon, who is responsible for the Klein-Brabant vaccination center. “These people say they want to come later. This is now shifting everything for a few weeks.”

The omicron variant therefore seems to be delaying the vaccination campaign for children. This is also confirmed by Joris Moonens, spokesman for the Agency for Care and Health. There are about 32,000 appointments made throughout Flanders. “But there can also be many parents who haven’t decided yet and therefore want to wait a little longer,” he says. “We had already taken into account that the vaccination rate would be lower in this age group. We felt there was more doubt about that.”

A little bite at Antwerp Zoo.

A little bite at Antwerp Zoo. — © BELGIAN

Vaccine prevents MIS-C

However, these doubts seem to be fading. This is what Daan Van Brusselen, pediatric infectiologist at the GZA hospitals, experiences. “We clearly have more doubts for our children than for ourselves,” says Van Brusselen. “But I think we’ve gotten rid of a lot of them now, too. We feel that in practice. We too have learned a lot in the last few weeks. In general, when children are vaccinated, transmission of the virus decreases. We already knew that, but now we also know that MIS-C, the syndrome that can occur in children after a corona infection, can be prevented by vaccination. The probability of MIS-C is small, but when we see it, it is often serious. This can be an additional motivation to have children vaccinated anyway. In addition, we have seen in New York that children who receive the vaccine are up to 70% less likely to contract the virus. This percentage is even higher for hospitalizations.”



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