Share article:
Share article:

Covid-19 vaccination strategy: Belgium’s state of play

Credit: Belga

As Belgium’s vaccination efforts are picking up speed, the head of the taskforce Dirk Ramaekers gave an overview of the current situation during a press conference on Tuesday.

Despite some unclear communication about the delivery of sufficient Pfizer vaccines, the rollout in the residential care centres is happening on schedule, according to Ramaekers.

“In the meantime, Jos Hermans has already received his second vaccine,” he added, referring to the first person to get a Covid-19 vaccine in Belgium.

This week, vaccinations of healthcare staff in hospitals started as well. “In 40 hospitals, the Pfizer vaccine is used, as they can store the vaccine at a very low temperature,” Ramaekers said.

A total of 86,000 caregivers will be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine starting this week. “We will start in the emergency departments, intensive care and Covid-19 wards,” he added.

Related News:


The Moderna vaccine – which must be administered in two doses, four weeks apart – will also be used from now on. “8,000 doses have been planned for this first week.”

On Monday, Moderna vaccinations started in one pilot hospital per Region, and additional hospitals will be designated over the course of the week, according to Ramaekers.

“The first ones went well, meaning they will continue as planned in the next days and weeks,” he added.

Up until Sunday 17 January, a total of over 100,000 people in Belgium had been vaccinated – or 35% of the intended target group in phase 1A.

“These are the residents and staff of the residential care homes, and the primary caregivers in hospitals and also first-line healthcare personnel,” said Ramaekers.

These figures are now also available on Sciensano’s dashboard – which shows the number of infections, hospitalisations and deaths – and will be updated daily.

Additionally, the general population will be vaccinated in the vaccination centres, the locations of which were revealed by the Regions last week. “They are now going to work to get those centres ready for the start of the next phase, 1B.”

In those centres, people over 65 years old will be vaccinated first, starting from the oldest ones as well as those with a chronic illness, according to Ramaekers.

Based on Belgium’s vaccination strategy, that phase is set to start in March. If everything goes according to plan, over 70% of the population should be vaccinated by September – the threshold that is considered the minimum for herd immunity.

A more in-depth explanation of Belgium’s vaccination strategy can be found here.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
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. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...