The cities and municipalities are gearing up to install 120 local vaccination centres and determine their strategy. As from March, the whole vaccination process will be sped up when the people above 65 can receive an injection.
Will Flanders be ready? Yes, say the Flemish Interior Minister Bart Somers (liberal) and Welfare Minister Wouter Beke (Christian democrat). "The challenge is: once we have the vaccines, we have to be able to get the people actually vaccinated en masse. We are working towards a capacity of 140,000 persons per day. We could double this, and we will if necessary", says Somers.
Beke adds: "Once the 120 vaccination centres are up and running, we could vaccinate between 3 and 7 million people in 30 days." In other words, the whole Flemish population of about 6 million could be vaccinated in just a month's time, in theory. That is, if the vaccines will be there, and if everything goes according to plan.
It would be very good news if everybody, including the youngsters - who are normally last in the queue - could be vaccination before summer. It would mean music festivals and cultural festivals this summer are 'on' again.
We will ask Europe for another 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine
The federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) had good news with regards to the vaccines. He says Belgium will ask Europe to receive an extra 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough for another 5 million citizens. Earlier, Belgium also had good news when it turned out that the Moderna vaccine will be available as from the end of the month. The British one from AstraZeneca and Oxford University is also coming, as is the Johnson&Johnson vaccine. Both could become available in March or April.
Speaking in the Sunday morning current affairs programme 'De Zevende Dag', Frank Vandenbroucke says he wants better and more testing. He also asked the labs to further examine samples when there are suspicions that it could be the British variant. The people in question will be better monitored to curb the spreading of corona. Microbiologist Herman Goossens told the VRT that they will be asked to take an extra test on day 10 to make sure they are no longer spreading the virus.
I want more testing, and we should make an extra effort to discover the British variant