Antwerp wants to vaccinate children in the Zoo

Antwerp wants to vaccinate children in the Zoo
Photo from ZOO Antwerp

To make the prospect of a Covid-19 vaccine more appealing to youngsters and their parents, Antwerp hopes to soon offer the vaccines at the Antwerp Zoo.

Children aged between five and 11 in Belgium are now able to receive the coronavirus vaccine if their parents wish; VRT reports that Antwerp is looking at a different sort of awareness campaign when it comes to the younger demographic.

“This requires a totally different approach to our booster campaign in Antwerp Expo,” alderman for health Els van Doesburg (N-VA) told Radio 2 Antwerp.

“We want to provide a pleasant environment where children feel at ease. With children you also have to be more patient. We won’t be vaccinating them in large, open spaces, but instead will be working with enclosed cubicles where the parents can come along.”

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Children will be entertained with projections of animals on the walls and light pens they can use to point at them. After children have been vaccinated they can enjoy the Zoo itself.

“When you’re vaccinated, you still have to wait 15 minutes and with small children that’s not so easy. In the Zoo you can walk around in the butterfly garden or among the monkeys. That way, kids don’t have to sit still on a chair for 15 minutes. We want the children and the parents to feel good.”

The proposal still has to be approved by the College of Aldermen on Friday. The city will start vaccinating children between five and 11 years old from the first weekend after the Christmas holidays. The current advice for child vaccination against Covid-19 in Belgium stops short of recommending it, instead only suggesting that it be offered.

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