Jos Hermans was the first Flemish care home resident to receive the jab last December.
Jasper Jacobs/Belga

Flanders starts corona vaccine roll-out

Flanders today launched its vaccination programme for care homes. The Flemish government’s goal is to get all care home residents immunised against coronavirus at least once by 25 January 2021.

A number of residents received their jab in December, but given scarce supplies of the vaccine that was chiefly a symbolic operation.  By Sunday 6,610 seniors in 42 Flemish care homes will have had their jab.

Flemish health minister Beke (Christian democrat) says the goal is to get all residents in 300 Flemish care homes inoculated at least once by the end of next week.  In all Flanders has some 800 care homes for the elderly.  The operation is being upscaled and that should make it possible to sort the 500 remaining care homes in the following week. 

Distribution of vaccines is organised via 13 hospital vaccination hubs.  Each care home is linked to a different hub that will supply the vaccine.  On organisational grounds it’s impossible to deal with all care homes right away. During the first days hospital vaccination hubs will concentrate on one single care home.

Minister Beke explains that the slow start is necessary to allow staff to gain experience of the procedures.  “Administering the vaccine isn’t so difficult, but the route that leads to being able to administer the jab is a more delicate one” says Mr Beke.

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