Belgium's largest vaccination centre temporarily closes 24h after opening

Belgium's largest vaccination centre temporarily closes 24h after opening
Heysel vaccination centre. Credit: Belga

The Heysel vaccination centre in Belgium - the current largest in the country - has been forced to temporarily close its doors after a technical error in the system.

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An IT fault which has hit centres across the country fundamentally means that invites to be vaccinated were not sent, leaving the centre with no visits for its second day of operation.

"The federal platform with which all vaccination centres work for sending their invitations, including those in Flanders, has been blocked," Minister of Health Alain Maron told LN24. "The e-mails and text messages that should have been sent to the people who should be vaccinated could not be sent."

A backup system - sending the invites manually - does exist, but it is yet to be seen if that will be put into effect here. Those who were vaccinated on Tuesday at the centre were invited this way.

"They are running tests now, and normally the problem would be solved, the invitations could leave at around 9:00 AM", Inge Neven, head of the hygiene inspectorate in Brussels told RTL Info.

For this reason, there is a good chance the centre will be able to reopen on Thursday, she adds. If it doesn't work, then the decision will be made on sending manual invites.

The Brussels Region and the federal government to take stock of the situation in a meeting at 10:00 AM, DH announced.

Largest In The Country

The vaccination centre in Heysel had been ready for two weeks, but only opened doors on Tuesday.

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A few dozen people - mainly general practitioners, dentists and home nurses under 55 years of age - received their vaccinations.

“In the following days, the number of people vaccinated will be increased to more than a thousand a day in order to vaccinate 4,800 people this week,” Neven said at the time. “The number of vaccinations should be the same in the coming weeks, but we hope to increase the pace after that. Normally, we can vaccinate 5,000 people a day here,” she added.

This week, 4,800 people will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. The centre will not yet be operating at full capacity this week, as the availability of vaccines is limited.

The Brussels Times

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