Belgium in Brief: When Do I Get A Vaccine?

Belgium in Brief: When Do I Get A Vaccine?
Credit: Belga

It's unfortunate to say, but when it comes to vaccines we're all starting to get a little bit selfish, or at the very least self-interested.

But maybe that's a good thing.

No matter where you look, the world is starting to become littered with comments on the speed of the vaccination, strategies, supplies, of various countries - because many just want life to go back to normal and see the vaccine as a way to do that.

Here in Belgium, things are all but concrete regarding vaccination strategy. Belgium decided on the priority groups for vaccination in early December, determining that residents and staff in residential care centres would be the first to be vaccinated, followed by healthcare staff in hospitals.

Then it would be other staff members working in hospitals and health services, then people over 65 years old, followed by people between 45 and 65 with underlying conditions, and eventually people working in an essential profession.

After everyone in those groups has been vaccinated, it will be the rest of the adult population’s turn.

What is far from fixed, is the speed this will happen at. After a cautious - or slow - start, which happened “for good reasons,” Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke announced that he and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo had asked the taskforce for a revised plan to speed up the vaccinations from next week.

No vaccines should be left in a freezer, he said, adding that “they all have to be used as soon as possible.”

So maybe things are about to change. 2020 was all about the maybes, looks like 2021 might be the same for now.

Right. Enough from me, news time.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Vaccinating people during the weekend is ‘not self-evident’

Speeding up Belgium’s vaccination Covid-19 campaign by also vaccinating during the weekend is certainly not self-evident, according to Dirk Dewolf of the Flemish Agency for Care and Health. Read more.

2. 7 questions about Belgium’s Covid-19 vaccination plan, answered

Belgium’s large-scale vaccination campaign officially started this week and immediately received a lot of criticism for not going fast enough.

As the government is looking for a way to speed up the vaccinations, several questions were left unanswered. Read More.

3. More snow expected in Belgium through Thursday

More snow is expected to fall in Belgium on Wednesday and Thursday, the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) predicted on Wednesday morning.

The south-east of Belgium can expect light snowfall throughout the day, with fog being likely in the Ardennes. Maximum temperatures will range from 2 to 4 degrees. Read More.

4. Reinforced teleworking checks: how it works

Starting from this week, Belgium is stepping up its controls on the teleworking obligation with so-called “flash checks” to reduce people’s mobility and the further spread of the coronavirus as much as possible.

At the end of 2020, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke announced that “flash checks” – which will see groups of inspectors enter companies to check if everyone physically present on the work floor really has to be there – on teleworking would be carried out in January. Read More.

5. Antwerp hospital recalls 110 patients possibly infected during treatment

A hospital in Antwerp has called in 110 patients who may have been seriously infected while being treated by a poorly-disinfected endoscopy machine in October. Read More.

6. Belgium should close borders now to avoid third wave, expert warns

Belgium should close its borders now if it wants to avoid a third wave of coronavirus infections, according to Dirk Devroey, professor and dean of the health faculty at VUB. Read more.

7. Drug investigation launched into Brussels sex party with Hungarian MEP

The Brussels public prosecutor’s office has opened a drug investigation into the sex party involving Hungarian MEP József Szájer.

The sex party, which made headlines across Europe, happened on 27 November in an apartment on Rue des Pierres in the centre of Brussels and was broken up by the police as it was in violation of lockdown rules. Read More.

Jules Johnston

The Brussels Times

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