Brussels wants to convince doubters by allowing ‘vaccine shopping’

Brussels wants to convince doubters by allowing ‘vaccine shopping’
Credit: Belga

In an attempt to raise vaccination coverage in the Brussels-Capital Region, the authorities are encouraging “vaccine shopping” by explicitly communicating which vaccine is administered in each centre.

A survey by Flemish newspaper De Tijd showed that about 61% of non-vaccinated Brussels residents would be willing to get the shot if they could choose which vaccine they would get (called “vaccine shopping” by the authorities).

“We were surprised by that high percentage,” said Inge Neven of the Brussels Health Inspectorate. “But if it is so important for those still in doubt, we will  now communicate even more clearly about which vaccine you can get where.”

“When you make an appointment via Bruvax, you will see which vaccine is available,” she explained. “You can also see on our website which vaccines are administered in which centres.”

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Until now, vaccine shopping was de facto already possible via the vaccination centres, but the choice will also be offered more explicitly with the help of flyers and various media channels now, Neven said.

The fact that Brussels, unlike Flanders and Wallonia, wants to explicitly allow vaccine shopping is remarkable, she acknowledged. “I understand that this could cause a debate, but if it can help to boost the vaccination level we should dare to go for it,” Neven said.

Especially Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine seems to be preferred by non-vaccinated Brussels residents.

On Tuesday 21 December, just 59% of Brussels residents are fully vaccinated, compared to Flanders (81%) and Wallonia (71%) where the figures are considerably higher.

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