Belgium’s largest vaccination centre will reopen tomorrow
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Belgium’s largest vaccination centre will reopen tomorrow

Credit: Belga

The Heysel vaccination centre in Brussels – currently the largest in Belgium – can open again on Thursday, after it had to close its doors due to a technical issue today, only 24 hours after it opened.

A bug in the IT system, which blocked invitations from being sent out in Brussels and Flanders causing the centre to close for the day, has now been resolved, according to Joris Moonens of the Flemish Agency for Health and Care.

“It concerns a national IT system that sends out text messages as well as emails, and at the same time sends invitations to a printer and Bpost with the notification that the convocation letter can be sent out,” he told De Standaard.

“We had expected that the start-up would not be flawless from the start,” Moonens said, adding that this is the reason why most centres in Flanders are waiting to start until the end of the week.

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Additionally, Moonens is confident that the invitation letters will be sent correctly today.

“Bpost guarantees that all orders that are passed on before 5:00 PM will be delivered to the right address tomorrow,” he said. “At the same time, the first text messages and emails will also go out today, so they will reach their recipients faster.”

Additionally, the groups that are currently being vaccinated – general practitioners, home care nurses, and other people in primary care – know that they can expect an invitation, according to him.

 

For the Heysel centre, the first 3,000 invitations were sent out in the early afternoon, which should guarantee that vaccinations can happen as planned from Thursday.

According to the planning, 4,800 people were expected to be vaccinated at the Heysel vaccination centre this week, but it is currently not clear yet if that number will be reached, according to Inge Neven of the Brussels health inspectorate.

With a daily capacity of 5,000 patients, the vaccination centre is big enough to be able to cope with the delay, “but it will depend on the response to the invitations,” she told Bruzz.

“We are opening several time slots and it is possible that the patients will be spread out more over this week and next,” Neven said. “One day delay is about a thousand vaccines. We will see what is possible.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times