Jos Hermans (96) given Belgium’s first coronavirus vaccine
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Jos Hermans (96) given Belgium’s first coronavirus vaccine

Credit: Retha Ferguson/Wikimedia

Belgium’s first coronavirus vaccine was given to 96-year-old Jos Hermans at the Sint-Pieter residential care centre in the municipality of Puurs in the Antwerp region on Monday morning.

“I feel 30 years younger now,” Hermans told local media. “Everyone needs to be vaccinated. When everyone has been given a shot, we are freer again, and our children and grandchildren can come and visit”.

Hermans was the first in the country to receive the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine – also produced in Puurs – at 11:00 AM. In three weeks he will receive a second injection of the Pfizer vaccine.

After Hermans, other residents will be vaccinated in their rooms this afternoon, with only 2 residents currently choosing not to get the vaccination, according to director Fred Rogier. After this, the remaining vaccines will go to a few staff members, so that no vaccines will be lost. “We have already given the occupational physician five names of employees,” Rogier told De Morgen.

“We have chosen to administer the first vaccine to our oldest resident, Jos Hermans, 96 years old, who has been with us for six years. He has always adhered very strictly to the measures and fully supports the vaccine,” Rogier explained.

Speaking on the news, Mayor Koen Van den Heuvel announced that the city council is very proud, and is delighted that the first vaccine will be administered at the Sint-Pieter residential care centre in his municipality.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times