When will you get the jab?
The Belgian authorities have unveiled a phased plan indicating which people will be able to come forward and get vaccinated against coronavirus first and during which phase we will all qualify. Belgian governments have identified several groups that will get priority. The vaccination programme itself will be rolled out in a number of phases.
What has been unveiled today is a plan that is reliant on when vaccines become available. As a result the authorities are unable to provide any exact time planning just yet.
As is the custom in Belgium the roll-out will proceed in phses 1A, 1B and 2.
During Phase 1A there is a limited availability of a vaccine that needs to be stored at -75°C. People who will be inoculated during this phase include the residents (150,000 people) and the 60,000 staff at care homes, collective care institutions, care professionals in hospitals and in first line care i.e. professionals who are at high risk due to contact with Covid patients and other care workers who are less exposed to risk.
The vaccine will be administered in care centres, hospitals and care institutions. Vaccinations will start in January using the 600,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that are being supplied. These stocks can protect 300,000 people in two jabs. This shipment will not be sufficient to protect Belgium's half a million care workers. The vaccine will be stored at a central facility of FAGG, the federal medicines and health products agency.
During Phase 1B availability of vaccines will be greater and storage will be less demanding. During this phase over 65’s, people at risk in the 45-to-65 age category and people with essential social and/or economic jobs will be vaccinated. The terms ‘people at risk’ and ‘essential social and/or economic jobs’ still need to be clearly defined.
Vaccination will occur at triage and first line vaccination centres managed by the local authorities and at large vaccination centres.
The vaccine will be stored at a central storage depot but with specific and adapted logistics that may come from local depots and hospitals.
During Phase 2 wide availability of the vaccine is anticipated. The vaccine can be easily stored.
During this phase the remaining ‘people at risk’ and the wider adult population will be targeted.
Vaccination will occur at the same venues as well as other first line, school and business locations that still need to be identified. During this phase the vaccine will be stored in decentralised storage facilities.