Vaccination coverage in Wallonia breaks 70 percent

Vaccination coverage in Wallonia breaks 70 percent
Credit: Belga/Hatim Kaghat

The Wallonia Region in Belgium has reached the milestone of having 70 percent of its population receive at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, three months after Flanders did so and ahead of Brussels, where the rate remains around 55 percent.

The 70 percent target is considered a milestone because it was the original goal of vaccination campaigns. The rate for Flanders is now around 80 percent.

The figures for Wallonia rose after the announcement of the Covid-19 Safe Ticket (CST) three weeks ago, according to reporting from De Standaard.

In these last three weeks, around 39,000 people in Wallonia went for their first shot of a vaccine, and over a quarter of those people were under the age of 18.

The biggest increase can be seen among adults, and spokesperson of the Covid-19 outreach campaign in the Region credits the CST.

“The increase is entirely related to the announcement of the Covid Safe Ticket,” Clément Manguette told De Standaard.

The CST comes into full force in Wallonia beginning on the first of November, where it will then be required for entry into places like bars and restaurants, sports halls and cultural centres.

In Brussels, that began last week, but the CST didn’t have a huge impact on the vaccination numbers, with some mayors calling it “too little, too late.”

“Wallonia cannot be compared with cosmopolitan Brussels, where in some circles nonsense continues to circulate about vaccines,” Dirk Ramaekers, head of the inter-federal task force on vaccination, told De Standaard.

“In Wallonia we are probably already seeing an effect of the pass. If it is applied with some rigour in Brussels, I expect a boost there too.”

Even as this important milestone of 70 percent has been reached, the Wallonia Region doesn’t plan on slowing down its campaigns.

“We want to vaccinate as many people as possible,” said Manguette. “We are not going to reduce our efforts.”

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