Share article:
Share article:

Belgium announces new, faster, vaccination strategy

Credit: Belga

Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke and several experts announced Belgium’s new accelerated coronavirus vaccination strategy in the parliamentary committee on Friday.

While the renewed strategy will speed up Belgium’s vaccination plan, Vandenbroucke stressed that the concrete rollout of the vaccinations still depends on the availability of sufficient vaccines.

This acceleration is possible because, from the end of this month, Belgium will have a limited supply of the Moderna vaccine. The fact that a “bonus dose” of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be taken from a vial also helps.

This is the timing for the new strategy:

From the end of January, hospital staff and other healthcare workers will be vaccinated.

From March, people over 65 years old and high-risk patients will be vaccinated, starting with the eldest and working towards the youngest.

In April, people working in an “essential profession” will be vaccinated. Exactly which professions this will concern has not yet been officially decided, but firefighters, police and civil protection services, as well as teachers, were mentioned.

Starting in June, the rest of the general adult population will be vaccinated. If everything goes according to the current planning, the vaccination campaign should be completed by the end of the summer.

If everything goes according to plan and the campaign can end in September, at least 70% of the population should be vaccinated – the threshold that is considered the minimum for herd immunity.

“If this is successful, we can also start vaccinating young people before the summer,” said Vandenbroucke. “Surely this is very good news for the group that was thought to come all the way to the back.”

The “reign of freedom” is back in sight, according to him. “Thanks to science, thanks to solidarity and thanks to the excellent cooperation with the regions and communities.”

Vaccinations will be carried out seven days a week in the vaccination centres, which are currently in full preparation, announced Dirk Ramaekers, head of the vaccination task force.

“We think we should go for a total of 200 vaccination centres for the whole country,” he said. “Towards September, we should then be able to complete our vaccination campaign.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
Belgium in Brief: Feeling Good/ Pandemic Law
Yesterday I said I was writing a newsletter I didn't want to write again. Today I'm writing another one ahead of a meeting that wasn't supposed ...
Eating less meat won’t actually help much with Flemish CO2 emissions
When it comes to the ways in which ordinary people can help to reduce CO2 emissions, eating less meat is often touted as an important solution. ...
At least one in seven coronavirus patients suffers from long-term Covid
Six months after becoming infected with the coronavirus, at least one in seven people still show symptoms connected to the infection, varying from ...
Operation Sky ECC: Major arrests and another large scale operation
A major operation took place last night in Belgium as a result of Operation Sky ECC, the name given to an investigation into organised crime that ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Consultative Committee expected to discuss telework and state of emergency
On Tuesday afternoon, Belgium's Consultative Committee will be meeting earlier than expected to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation. ...
Highest number of new Covid-19 cases recorded since November 2020
The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Belgium is continuing to increase and has now reached levels last recorded in November ...
Prototype test plane crashes in Belgium after pilot ejects
A prototype aircraft crashed on Sunday afternoon in Yves-Gomezée (Walcourt, Namur province) during a test flight, according to several local media ...