Brussels GPs can now vaccinate patients who can’t get to centres
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Brussels GPs can now vaccinate patients who can’t get to centres

Credit: Belga

General practitioners in the Brussels-Capital Region will be able to vaccinate patients who are unable to travel to a centre themselves from Tuesday, following a training session on Monday, said Inge Neven, head of the Brussels health inspectorate.

They will also be able to register them on the new Bru-VAX platform – which will open to the public next Monday – to refer them to the mobile teams.

Four home care teams will manage the four defined zones in Brussels:

  • West including the centre,
  • North-West,
  • East,
  • South.

In this system, a central role is reserved for people’s GPs, who can not only register patients who need to be vaccinated at home from Tuesday, but will also be able to vaccinate patients at home themselves.

Given the time-consuming nature of vaccinating people at home, however, the aim is still to improve the accessibility of the vaccination centres as much as possible. The Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, which will be available in Belgium from Monday, will be used by the mobile teams from next week.

“The population in Brussels is younger, so the age range for the invitations will be lower,” Neven said. On Sunday, invitations to be vaccinated were sent to Brussels residents over 52 years old with underlying conditions, and should arrive by the end of the week.

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Since last Friday, people over 60 without underlying conditions who have not (yet) been invited for vaccination, can also contact the call centre to make an appointment themselves.

They do not have to register for a waiting list, but can book their appointment right away, via the number 02 214 19 19. Like with other groups, people will still be invited in descending order of age.

As it stands, over 56% of people aged 65 and over are vaccinated in the Brussels-Capital Region, according to Neven.

“However, the percentage of elderly people vaccinated in Brussels and Wallonia is slightly lower (between 65% and 69% of those aged 75 and over) than in Flanders (between 77% and 90% of those aged 75 and over) and in the German-speaking region,” she said.

“Some want to see the effect of the vaccines on others first, some wait until the partner is invited for the vaccine. And we know that some people who have been approached many times simply do not want a vaccine,” Neven said. “We have several actions underway to try to increase these percentages.”

From next Monday, Brussels residents will be able to register directly in the Bru-VAX system, thanks to a simplified procedure that only requires the national registry number.

“Even if people have not received an invitation, those eligible for vaccination will be able to register on the platform quickly, with just a few clicks,” said Neven.

By Sunday, more than 247,000 injections had been given in the Capital-Region, and more than 186,000 people have received at least one dose.

The Brussels Times