All being well, we will probably have to wait almost another four weeks before a vaccine is given all clear by the European testing authorities. Once this is the case responsibility for administering the vaccine will fall to the health authorities in each of Belgium’s three regions. Although they will follow the federal guidelines. The authorities in Brussels hope to ensure that the vaccination programme in their region runs as smoothly as possible. Consequently, a dress rehearsal for what would be a typical day at a vaccination centre has been taking place in Schaarbeek today.
On Thursday the Minister with responsibility for health in the Brussels Regional Government Alain Maron (Francophone green) announced that during the first quarter of 2021 45,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine would be administered to the residents of care homes and care home staff.
Speaking about Friday’s dummy run the Head of the Brussels Health Inspectorate Inge Neven told VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’ that “We want to simulate the whole process”.
"Starting from receiving people in the centre, administering the vaccine, waiting for a quarter of an hour to see whether there are any side effects and in the meantime explaining the further steps and stressing that they need to continue to continue to adhere to the basic guidelines (social distancing, mask,…)”.
The 45 guinea pigs that are taking part in Friday’s dummy run are not really being given a vaccine. The dummy run is designed to enable those that will run the vaccine programme to be better prepared. It should, for example, enable them to assess how many people can be vaccinated each day.