EU officials in Brussels will be vaccinated in separate centres

EU officials in Brussels will be vaccinated in separate centres
Credit: Belga

People working for international institutions based in Brussels, such as the European Commission and NATO, will be vaccinated against the coronavirus in separate vaccination centres, not the ones used for the rest of the city.

NATO and the European Commission and Parliament will vaccinate their own staff, around 31,000 people in total, in line with the timing put in place for the rest of the country.

The vaccination of EU officials is part of the region's overall strategy, and will start at the same time as phase 1B, at the beginning of March, meaning they will not receive their jabs before other people in Belgium.

"For vaccinations, we treat them like we do a large hospital, where we deliver the vaccine quota, and people are vaccinated on the spot," Inge Neven of the Brussels health inspectorate told BX1, adding that the decision has been made in agreement with the regional authorities.

"This way, they do not have to come to the structures that we organise for the rest of the Brussels people, but they organise it all by themselves," she said.

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The institutions approached the Brussels Capital-Region at the end of 2020 to suggest some places to open centres for the Commission, the Parliament and NATO, according to Neven.

"So, three additional places are currently being organised," she said. "We are in contact about the important parts, but they organise the logistics themselves."

"For us, it also concerns a population that is sometimes difficult to reach, so somewhere it is good that they are taking the lead," Neven added.

The doses for staff members who are registered as residents in Belgium will be taken from the country's quota.

They will not receive their jabs in the Parlamentarium or the visitor’s centre, which at first was considered as a vaccination centre for the region.

Instead, all three institutions will vaccinate their staff in special areas within their respective buildings, but these have not yet been set up, as they are still awaiting accreditations. 

Update: This article has been updated to include additional info following an interview with Inge Neven of the Brussels health inspectorate with local media.

Lauren Walker

The Brussels Times

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