Brussels put an end to ‘booster shopping’ in train stations

Brussels put an end to ‘booster shopping’ in train stations
A vaccination point catches commuters at Brussels Central station. Credit: Belga

The Brussels Health Inspectorate is calling on non-residents to stop travelling to the Capital Region to get a booster vaccination before receiving an official invitation, called “booster shopping.”

Until yesterday (Tuesday), it was possible to get a booster dose at vaccination posts in two Brussels train stations without an address check, meaning non-residents could get their shot early.

“In the summer, we allowed the vaccination of travellers who had not yet received their first dose of a vaccine at two train stations,” head of the Brussels Health Inspectorate Inge Neven told VRT. “Yesterday, we stopped that.”

She said that she is sorry for the non-Brussels people who thought they could get a booster shot more quickly in Brussels. “That is no longer the case. As of today, there are checks again.”

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The demand for booster doses is not only high in Flanders and Wallonia, but in Brussels too. On top of that, some people are still going in for their first or second dose.

“We would like to keep that capacity for the people of Brussels,” Neven stressed. “That is why I am urging people not to go to Brussels, and instead register with QVAX or wait for their invitation.”

In the meantime, the authorities have also asked GPs not to give booster shots to people who are not from the Capital Region. “We have allowed GPs to vaccinate as well, but I hope they will not start giving shots to other people because that is absolutely not the intention.”

“We want to offer the booster shot to people in Brussels as soon as possible,” Neven said. “We have opened that up, to also include pharmacists, so that everyone gets the chance to be vaccinated in a trusted environment.”

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