Start of preventive vaccination against monkey pox ends in a sizzle, Crevits intervenes: “No more referral needed” (Antwerp)

Start of preventive vaccination against monkey pox ends in a sizzle, Crevits intervenes: “No more referral needed” (Antwerp)
Start of preventive vaccination against monkey pox ends in a sizzle, Crevits intervenes: “No more referral needed” (Antwerp)
Antwerp

The pilot project in Antwerp in which people can be vaccinated preventively against the monkeypox virus has started very slowly. The target was 1,120 people, but only 60 people actually registered for the shot at the vaccination center. Flemish Minister of Health Hilde Crevits (CD&V) did not hesitate and intervened immediately. She lowered the threshold by forgoing the referral letter.

It was remarkably quiet in and around the vaccination center on the Jan Van Rijswijcklaan on Thursday afternoon. Although the pilot project to vaccinate people preventively against the monkeypox virus aimed for 1,120 shots, few candidates showed up. Five people arrived on time, but those who expected a stampede were disappointed. Gradually a few passed, but it was not in the least a large influx.

“About 130 people were registered on Thursday and 60 people were effectively registered to come and get their vaccine at Antwerp Expo,” said the cabinet of Flemish Minister of Health Hilde Crevits (CD&V).

Those who wanted a vaccine had to belong to a predefined target group: men who have sex with men and have had at least 1 STI in the past year. They also had to be able to submit a mandatory referral letter via the doctor or general practitioner. According to the cabinet, this may have made the threshold too great.

Referral letter no longer needed

Later in the evening, the news seeped in that the referral letter is being waived. “This is a good thing to organize vaccination in a much more accessible way. The strategy and organization for Flanders will be adjusted in the coming days,” Crevits confirmed.

Although the number of monkey pox infections seems to have stagnated in recent weeks, new infections are still being added every week. In Flanders, 394 people have been infected with the virus since the start of the outbreak, mainly men in the age group of 20 to 59 years who have sex with men. (lava)

The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Start preventive vaccination monkey pox ends sizzle Crevits intervenes referral needed Antwerp

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