Staff of mayor who jumped vaccination queue said to have also received vaccines ahead of time

Staff of mayor who jumped vaccination queue said to have also received vaccines ahead of time
Mayor Veerle Heeren. ©

The staff of the Belgian mayor who is currently under investigation for having jumped the vaccination queue back in March is now also said to have also possibly been vaccinated ahead of schedule.

Mayor Veerle Heeren (CD&V) of Sint-Truiden in the province of Limburg admitted to getting fully vaccinated back in March, even though she is only 56 years old and at the time, vaccines were restricted to people over the age of 85.

Even today, only 9% of people in Heeren’s age group are fully vaccinated.

But in the run-up to tonight’s town council meeting where the Mayor’s early vaccination will be discussed, De Standaard reports that it’s possible her entire cabinet was also vaccinated ahead of the rest of the population, and that this would have been impossible to accomplish without her involvement.

Two of Heereen’s family members were also able to get vaccinations through her, ahead of schedule.

Some are calling on the Mayor to step down.

At tonight’s council meeting, she will have to explain both her early vaccination and her daily presence in the vaccination centre.

The meeting would normally be led by Bert Stippelmans (CD&V), but since his daughter was also vaccinated early, the opposition party Vooruit said this would be a conflict of interest.

Stippelmans said his daughter jumped the queue because she is a childcare worker. De Standaard reported that this explanation was met with laughter in the town of Sint-Truiden, where his daughter is known to be an animal caretaker. Despite this, the organisational chart of the city says that she is assigned to after-school childcare.

Mayor Heeren has filed a legal complaint for a breach of medical confidentiality against whoever leaked the details about her early vaccination to the press, and the Limburg public prosecutor's office carried out a search of the journalist Dirk Selis’ home in connection with the leak.

The Flemish Association of Journalists (VVJ) has condemned the move, calling it “illegal” and promising to take action.

The Brussels Times

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