Brussels residents aged 41 and over will be able to register to receive a coronavirus vaccination in the region as of Friday evening.
Meanwhile, Brussels residents over the age of 36 can register to be added to the waiting list on the Bruvax registration platform, which is yet to be updated to include the new age groups.
"The vaccination campaign in the Brussels-Capital Region is continuing apace: 539,000 people have already received their first dose. From 6:00 PM on 21 May, Brussels residents aged 41 and over are also eligible for vaccination," the Brussels-Capital Community Commission (Cocom) announced in a press release.
Just over 387,000 of the total administered doses were first doses, whilst just over 152,000 people received a second dose in one of the ten vaccination centres in the region. Meanwhile, more than 18,000 people have registered on the waiting list.
The vaccination coverage rate in Brussels is the lowest of all regions in Belgium - just 36%, compared to 46% in Flanders, 48% in Wallonia, and 53% in the German-speaking community.
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The commission emphasised that special attention is "still needed for the most vulnerable people (over-65s and people with risk factors)," for which Brussels relaunched the vaccination campaign, giving reminder phone calls to people who were included in the previous phases of the coronavirus vaccination rollout but didn’t get a vaccine.
“It is important that the vaccination rate is as high as possible in the risk groups, also because there is a chance that young people will be less willing to be vaccinated," Inge Neven of the Brussels Health Inspectorate said.
The Cocom stressed that getting a coronavirus vaccine is about more than achieving the objective of vaccinating over 70% of all residents is necessary, especially as "possible partial relaxations have been announced, which will potentially bring the population into contact with more people than before."
As of Wednesday, residents of the Brussels region can now print a copy of a certificate in English, Dutch or French (or all three) to show when and with what they have been vaccinated via the Brussels Health Network website.
Both Sint-Joost-ten-Node and Molenbeek have launched initiatives bringing the vaccination campaign closer to local residents to fight the digital gap and the mobility gap, and to vaccinate the most vulnerable in society, including homeless people.
As of Thursday, exactly 45% of the adult population in Belgium has received the first injection of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest figures from the Sciensano Public Health Institute updated on Friday morning.
Of these more than 4.1 million people, 1,495,317 people (about 16.2% of the adult population in Belgium) have received a second dose and are considered fully protected.