Walloon Health Minister Christie Morreale plans to boost vaccination in Wallonia from 130,000 to 200,000 people a week, she said Friday during a visit to two vaccination sites, the major centre in Tournai and the intermediate centre in Mouscron.
“In Wallonia, more than one in four people of vaccination age has received a first dose of vaccine,” said Morreale.
“The pace of the campaign is accelerating: in a fortnight, we have gone from 20% to 25% of people vaccinated in the first dose, and the pace of deliveries will also increase in the coming weeks.”
Last week, 460,000 people were vaccinated in Belgium, including 130,000 in Wallonia, according to the Minister.
“We can go up to 200,000 people,” she said.
At the Tournai Major Vaccination Centre (CMVT), Mayor Paul-Olivier Delannois said that the city had insisted on being the full organiser of this vaccination process.
“This independence allowed us to develop this vaccination system that works perfectly,” said Delannois.
Wallonia has nine major centres and 31 intermediate centres. It can also count on 12 mobile units operating one week out of three, notably for decentralised municipalities, like Comines in the Picardy region of Wallonia.
Since 25 February, when the CMV was launched in Tournai, 32,750 people have already been vaccinated in the city’s sports hall.
This number includes the medical and paramedical staff of the Tournai Hospital (3,000), as the centre was unable to vaccinate its staff on site due to a cyber attack.
After opening two vaccination lines for the first wave, the CMVT increased the number of lines to eight at the end of March for the vaccination of the population.
This vaccination effort, which was carried out according to age, will eventually concern 120,000 people living in the entities of Tournai, Antoing, Brunehaut and Rumes.
“We are now approaching the age of 55. To this we must add the waiting list that has been launched. Since the beginning, no vaccine has been thrown away, everything has been administered,” said the mayor of Tournai.
In Mouscron, the local vaccination centre has received 14,000 people and has been running since 15 March with three vaccination lines, operating 12 hours a day from Monday to Saturday.
“The AViQ has asked us to step up,” said Brigitte Aubert, mayor of Mouscron.
“We are now ready to go from 20 to 30 vaccines per hour, and we’re waiting for the vaccines. So far, we have mainly administered Pfizer vaccine, and AstraZeneca to a lesser extent. There is some reluctance towards this product; however, no dose has been thrown away. Everything has been used.”