Breydel building becomes coronavirus vaccination centre for EU staff
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Breydel building becomes coronavirus vaccination centre for EU staff

Breydel building of the European Commission. Credit: European Parliament

A separate coronavirus vaccination centre has been set up for staff working for the European Commission to receive their shots in the Breydel building in Brussels’ European Quarter.

Last month, it was announced the international institutions based in Brussels, such as the European Commission and NATO, would vaccinate their own staff against the coronavirus in separate centres.

“Thanks to the annual vaccination of several members of our staff, we have the necessary equipment to carry out the vaccination ourselves,” Director General of Human Resources, Gertrud Ingestad, said during an online press conference on Wednesday.

The centre in the Breydel building, which served as temporary headquarters for the European Commission between 1991 and 2004, has been set up to avoid overcrowding the Belgian vaccination centres, she explained.

Ingestad added that the cost of vaccinating the 21,000 staff members will be covered by the European Commission and not by the Belgian state.

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“However, we are working hand in hand with the Belgian authorities and are following all rules made on a federal level,” Ingestad said.

The vaccination of the 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.

When this system was first announced, Inge Neven of the Brussels health inspectorate told BX1 that the decision has been made in agreement with the regional authorities.

The institutions, which will be treated similarly to large hospitals for the vaccination rollout, approached the Brussels Capital-Region at the end of 2020 to suggest some locations to open centres for the Commission, the Parliament and NATO staff members, according to Neven.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times