One in two people in Flanders should be vaccinated by Whit Monday, says Beke
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One in two people in Flanders should be vaccinated by Whit Monday, says Beke

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One in two people living in Flanders should receive at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by Whit Monday (24 May), according to Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke.

The plan to vaccinate every adult in the region by 11 July also remains feasible, Beke said on Friday on Radio 1. 

“This week, we administered 400,000 vaccines and during the next two weeks before 24 May, we are going to put another 800,000. That means that this weekend, we are going to reach 40% vaccination coverage in Flanders for the adult population and by Whit Monday, one in two people of the Flemish population will be vaccinated,” he said.

The region has also launched a campaign to win over those who are sceptical over receiving a vaccine, as the campaign starts reaching younger age groups, according to Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon.

“We have a very high vaccination rate of almost 95% in the older age groups. This is something we want to maintain in the other age groups because vaccination remains the key to freedom,” he said.

Beke highlighted that the doubt people had at the beginning of the vaccination rollout about receiving a shot has decreased, mainly because now, “everyone knows a father, mother or grandfather who has been vaccinated, and that gives them a reassuring feeling.”

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The vaccination coverage in Brussels for the same age groups is significantly lower (around 73%), but according to Jambon, this is not a pattern that has been identified in Flemish cities.

“If you consider that, globally speaking 95% of people of those ages in the region have been vaccinated, and if you consider how many people live in cities, then it must be high there as well. I think it is evenly spread out across Flanders,” Jambon said.

On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 100,000 vaccines were given in Flanders’ vaccination centres in one day for the first time since the vaccination campaign started.

“This is another milestone in the vaccination campaign,” Beke said.

On Tuesday, Beke announced that the Flemish government is considering introducing a system with a “corona pass” to give people in Flanders back some freedom, but only from 11 July, when all adults in the country have received an opportunity to be vaccinated.

Jambon emphasised that this initiative is difficult, as the government must make sure it doesn’t give any privileges, but that they could allow people who have been vaccinated to do certain things without having to provide a negative test.