Starting on Monday, Wallonia will gradually add 12 extra COVID-19 vaccination sites to the 40 already existing in the region, Health Minister Christie Morreale announced on Sunday.
This will bring the total number of centres in Wallonia to 52.
The new sites will be located at Comines-Warneton, Thuin, Soignies, Lierneux, Spa, Limburg, Walcourt, Philippeville, Hastière, Andenne, Gembloux and Bouillon. They will make vaccination more accessible to people living far from existing centres and those unable to go to centres near them because they are swamped.
The centre in Soignies has already opened its doors. Each of the other additional sites will open alternately every third week to enable the target population to receive both doses of a given vaccine.
They will operate alongside the established centres throughout the vaccination campaign, opening six days per week, and 12 hours each day, from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM if the available doses permit it.
Only persons living in one of the communes concerned or a neighbouring commune will be invited to take their injections at the additional centres. However, they will be under no obligation to choose these sites, which will simply be added to the centres proposed when vaccination appointments are made.
Hundreds of invitations have already been sent to the persons concerned. Others will be sent gradually, as more doses of the vaccines become available, in the next few weeks, the minister said.
For now, priority is being given to people aged 75 years and over at Wallonia’s vaccination centres. “Invitations continue to be sent to people in that age group and, soon, to people over 70 years old,” Minister Morreale said.
“At the same time, the centres will administer vaccinations, as much as possible, to people with underlying conditions, before gradually extending the service to the rest of the adult population,” she added.