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Brussels nursing home staff to get vaccine one week early

Credit: Belga

Vaccinations for nursing home staff in the Brussels Capital Region will start on 18 January, a week earlier than planned.

From 18 January, staff in nursing homes where residents have not received their first of two doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine yet can receive their first jabs together with the residents, said social protection organisation Iriscare on Thursday.

In nursing homes where residents have already received their first jabs, however, staff will receive their vaccinations during the week of 25 January.

Belgium’s interministerial health conference decided on Wednesday that nursing home staff could already be vaccinated in January, after Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke revealed that he and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo had asked the country’s vaccination task force for a revised plan to speed up the vaccination campaign.

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Up until now, only the vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech has been used in Belgium, as it was the only coronavirus vaccine authorised by the EU.

On Wednesday, however, Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine was recommended for approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and approved by the EU later that day, making it the second vaccine that Belgium can use to vaccinate its population.

Belgium’s official vaccine rollout started on Tuesday, after a week with successful pilot tests in several nursing homes which saw 96-year-old Jos Hermans become the first Belgian to be vaccinated.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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