Belgium’s vaccination plans criticised for regional bias 
Share article:
Share article:

Belgium’s vaccination plans criticised for regional bias 

Pfizer's Puurs site in Belgium. Credit: Belga

Keeping the balance between Belgium’s different regions will play an important part in the country’s vaccination strategy, and is already causing issues after conflicting stories of a Flemish focus come out in local media.

What is confirmed is that on Monday, Belgium’s vaccinations will start in the first three residential care centres across the country, one in Flanders, one in Wallonia and one in the Brussels-Capital Region.

From that point, however, things have become more complicated, with conflicting reports of what will happen next from local media and the people in charge.

According to reports in some Belgian media on Tuesday four more residential care centres – all in the Flemish region – were set to receive the vaccine the day after the first vaccinations had taken place, but will now have to wait “in order to keep the political peace” following complaints of “unfairness” from the other regions.

According to the office of Coronavirus Commissioner Pedro Facon, however, no such decision had been made after Monday’s first round.

“All federated entities will discuss this during Belgium’s Inter-Ministerial Conference so that the balances in our country can be respected,” Caroline Leys, spokesperson for Coronavirus Commissioner Pedro Facon told The Brussels Times.

While the taskforce did look into whether those centres would be ready to receive the vaccination so soon,  “no director received official confirmation,” Leys explained. This sort of decision will only be decided during the Inter-Ministerial Conference on Public Health, set to take place later this week, she added.

Related News:

 

The idea that Belgium’s fractured government structure would block the vaccines for people who needed them, however, has already strong criticism from Jan Walraet, Regional Corona Coordinator for the Druivenstreek.

“How do you explain this to the residents of these four residential care centres?” he told Het Laatste Nieuws. “The fact that, in this health crisis, vaccinations are being withheld in order to maintain political peace is not acceptable to me.”

Big Campaign For January

Despite the relatively early vaccination planned for next week, Belgium’s big push will not start before January, Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke emphasised on Tuesday.

“This will happen in those residential care centres in which there have been no infections during the last period,” he said on Flemish radio, adding that the centres have to have been Covid-free for at least two weeks.

Maïthé Chini & Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Hire bikes and scooters: Brussels Parliament wants to restore order
Majority parties in the Brussels Parliament plan to enact new rules allowing communes to set specific and mandatory parking spaces for hire bikes and ...
‘Fourth wave’ has begun: These are the rules
The expected fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic has begun, according to Belgium’s Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit). Belgium’s ...
Coronavirus: Ending the pandemic is ‘a choice,’ says WHO chief
The Covid-19 pandemic will end “when the world chooses to end it” because “all the tools” are now available to fight the virus, the World Health ...
‘Can’t keep count’: Instagram page for sexual assault testimonies overwhelmed
An Instagram account compiling testimonies in an effort to give a voice to victims of sexual violence in bars and nightclubs has been overwhelmed ...
Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...