As many as one in four of all vaccinations administered in the Brussels region went to non-residents, some of them fraudulently, health minister Alain Maron has admitted.
Speaking to Bruzz, Maron said around 100,000 doses had been administered to people from outside the region. However, he denied this was largely a result of fraud, as had been reported earlier this week.
According to Maron, the vast majority of those doses went to special cases such as staff of care homes, hospitals and other healthcare establishments.
“By the way, the others are not only Flemish or Walloons, but also diplomats, Eurocrats and undocumented migrants,” said Maron.
Taking that 100,000 as a ballpark figure, we see that it accounts for slightly more than one in four of all vaccinations administered in Brussels. According to the latest figures from health institute Sciensano this Saturday morning, a total of just over 339,000 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine in the region.
As for the number of fraudsters, Maron said the figure was “peanuts”.
“That's only a few hundred people, a maximum of 2,000,” he said. “Out of the 100,000 doses administered to non-residents of Brussels, that's peanuts.”
His estimate is slightly at odds with the one given earlier in the week by Inge Neven of the Brussels health inspectorate, who told The Brussels Times the number of Flemish people claiming to be Brussels residents was “a few thousand” rather than a few hundred.
The most common means of defrauding the system was to book an appointment at one of the Brussels vaccination centres by using a false postcode. Since that method came to light, the system has been tightened up, and an appointment can now only be booked using the national identity number, which is then checked to determine where the caller lives.