The Brussels regional government has agreed to provide €1 million in financing to pay for the elderly to be transported free to vaccination centres.
Older people often face problems in transport: they may no longer be able to drive, public transport may not be suitable for some destinations, and they may not be easily able to call on help from others, including family.
A number of Brussels communes have set up schemes to provide transport for those affected, including collective transport or subsidies for taxi travel. The fund set up by local authority minister Bernard Clerfayt, formerly the mayor of Schaerbeek, is intended to help compensate the communes for their additional outlay.
Each of the 19 communes of the capital will receive a share of the one million euros according to the over-60s’ share of the local population.
Although the age group was among the priority groups receiving the vaccine, not all have yet reached the stage of bring ready for their booster shot. Depending on the make of the first shots, a delay of months is required before obtaining the booster.
“In the Brussels region, there are 159,593 people aged 65 and over. 86% of them have received two doses of vaccine,” said Clerfayt. “Vaccination is also our main protection against Covid-19. By making €1 million available for free transport of the elderly to the vaccination centres, we not only help protect the most vulnerable people, but also support the municipalities in the implementation of measures to fight Covid-19.”
Meanwhile, according to the region’s health minister Alain Maron, the subsidy is part of the regional government’s policy to increase vaccination capacity by decentralising vaccination sites to improve their accessibility.
“Vaccination in Brussels has never been so close to the population,” he told Bruzz.