"4 million vaccinated by the summer"

Belgian governments are today deciding on the country’s vaccination strategy – when you and me will be able to come forward to be vaccinated against coronavirus.  Meanwhile Flemish health minister Wouter Beke (Christian democrat) has said that by next summer 4 million people in Belgium can be vaccinated.

Mr Beke met with other Belgian health ministers on Wednesday, a meeting that resumes today.  He indicated who would get an opportunity to be vaccinated first.

“Our strategy includes a number of priorities.  It’s a strategy that will undoubtedly be approved”.

Staff and residents at care homes will be among the first to be vaccinated as well as first line health care workers, hospital staff and people aged over 65 as well as those aged between 45 and 65 with underlying health care issues.

These groups will be followed by staff at essential services including the fire service, the police, but also education.

Meanwhile epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme indicated that Belgium may not be able to start its vaccination programme as early as 5 January as PM Alexander De Croo (Flemish liberal) suggested on Wednesday.  Prof Van Damme says that following a European approval of the vaccine it will still need to be tested: “A number of lots will be checked by a German agency. Then the vaccines can be released. This means it could take a few more days, but I believe we have received an important signal.  We must be ready when the vaccine is available. The whole operation must be ready and respect the priorities agreed.”

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