Hour-long waits to register for Belgium's vaccination reserve list

Hour-long waits to register for Belgium's vaccination reserve list
Credit: Belga

The online platform QVax, which people in Belgium can use to register for the vaccination reserve list, is already seeing waiting lists of over an hour after it launched this morning.

Using the new QVax platform, people can indicate at what times they will be available to go to their local vaccination centre on short notice in the coming weeks, in case the centre has some leftover doses at the end of the day.

However, due to tens of thousands of people attempting to register, waiting times have already reached up to an hour, with over 190,000 people waiting to access the website at 11:00 AM this morning.

"If you see that you have to wait for more than an hour, and you are not part of the priority target group, feel free to come back in an hour or two," Frank Robben, CEO of the eHealth platform, told Het Laatste Nieuws.

"Anyone over the age of 18 can voluntarily register on the reserve list, but the invitations obviously take into account the priority target groups," he said, adding that it currently still concerns people over 65-years-old and high-risk patients.

Robben explained that people in their twenties who are not in the current priority groups can already register on the QVax platform, but they will not receive an invitation for a surplus vaccination and take the place of an over-65.

"I am glad [the platform] is such a success, but these are not tickets to Tomorrowland," he said. "You are not at the top of the list if you register earlier. And unlike Tomorrowland, there are plenty of 'tickets' here: there are vaccines for everyone."

Additionally, even though the platform is in principle available to everyone from today, the system will initially only be used in two vaccination centres in Flanders, and 14 in Wallonia and the German-speaking regions. If everything goes well, the other vaccination centres across the country will implement the system from next week.

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The Brussels-Capital Region works with its own, similar system operated by Doctena, which will be operational from next week, according to Health Minister Alain Maron.

“Brussels has signed a contract with the company Doctena so that registrations in the centres no longer go through the Doclr system. Doctena will include a last-minute function for vaccinations,” Maron said on Saturday.

People wishing to register via QVax have to create an account on the platform, based on their national registry number, according to the website.

Based on where you live, a vaccination centre will be assigned to you. You can then indicate in your account at what times you will be available in the coming week. In the account, you can adjust your availability at any time.

"The intention is of course that people who subscribe to this list keep their availability up to date, as the intention is really to get them into the vaccination centre at the last minute," Robben said.

Additionally, registration on the reserve list does not replace the regular invitation. As long as you have not been called up from the reserve list, your regular invitation will simply arrive by post or e-mail, at the same time it usually would.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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