Belgium’s very first coronavirus vaccinations started on Monday morning, with reports of the first regional recipients coming in just after 11:00 AM.
Despite not officially launching vaccinations until 5 January, three nursing homes in Belgium, located in Puurs-Sint-Amands, Flanders, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre in the Brussels region, and Mons, Wallonia, were chosen to trial launch the vaccination campaign against the virus.
Here’s a roundup of the news from the regions this morning.
The first vaccine administered in the Brussels Region was given to Lucie Danjou who, at the age of 101, is the oldest resident of the Notre-Dame de Stockel nursing home in the Brussels commune of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre.
After the centennial, four other residents also received the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech and 62 others are expected to be vaccinated by the end of the day. In addition, three staff members will also receive the vaccine.
The first dose of the vaccine administered at the nursing home “La Bonne Maison de Bouzanton” in Mons also went to the oldest resident, 102-year-old Josepha Delmotte.
The vaccine was then administered to several staff members as well as other residents of the Mons facility, 86% of whom agreed to be vaccinated.
“The vaccination campaign will be officially launched on January 5. The schedule will be established on the basis of priority criteria,” said Walloon Health Minister Christie Morreale.
“We have 19 hospital centres in Wallonia, equipped with -80 °C refrigerators, which are essential for the storage of the Pfizer vaccine. We have chosen the largest nursing homes that are closest to these hospitals. A nursing home in which we find a cluster will be put on hold until the situation is stabilized so that we can safely vaccinate,” she explained.
As reported earlier, 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”. More here.
The beneficiaries of the first injections of the vaccine will receive the second dose in mid-January. The Pfizer vaccine requires two injections 21 days apart to be effective.
The Brussels Times