Flanders is aiming to make 100,000 doses of vaccines against the novel Coronavirus available next week, Health Minister Wouter Beke said on Sunday on VRT’s ’De Zevende Dag’ programme.
These include 40,000 doses destined for hospitals, 30,000 to be delivered to nursing homes, 17,000 for establishments that cater for handicapped persons and 10,000 for vaccination centres.
The aim is to start by vaccinating people over the age of 65, along with high-risk groups, in the vaccination centres during the month of March, according to the Health Minister, who expects the operation to be completed by May, depending on suppliers’ delivery schedules.
Queried on the prospects for a further easing of the current health measures, the minister responded cautiously. While recognising that, for now, the figures have been moving in the right direction, he preferred not to speak of a possible easing of the restrictions for the hospitality industry for the Easter holidays.
“I would love to drink a beer during the Easter holidays, but that depends on the figures,” he said. “Vaccinations are just one of the parametres; we need to keep taking the other parametres into account.”
Contesting doubts that have arisen about vaccination, Wouter Beke said he hoped that an increasing number of persons will agree to be vaccinated so that herd immunity can be attained.
These doubts were fuelled once again last week in Flanders following an interview with actors Peter Van Den Begin and Tine Reymer, who said they did not want the vaccine.
“It’s precisely people from the culture sector who are at risk, and who should be the first to say: “Let’s all take the vaccine’,” Minister Beke commented. “They should be encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as early as possible.”