104-year-old retired doctor that raised funds for coronavirus research gets his jab

A 104-year-old former GP from the Flemish Brabant municipality of Rotselaar has joined the ever-growing number of Flemings to be given a vaccination against coronavirus. Dr Alfons Leempoels walked the equivalent of a marathon around the garden of his home to raise funds for coronavirus research. On Thursday he received his first dose of coronavirus vaccine at his local vaccination centre. Dr Leempoels told VRT News that he never had any doubts about the vaccine.  

Dr Leempoels drew the inspiration for his fund-raising effort from the British war veteran Captain Tom Moore, who died early last month. Last year at the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic Captain Moore raised millions of euro for the British public health service NHS. Captain Moore was knighted by the British Queen Elizabeth II and became Captain Sir Tom Moore. He died aged 100 at a hospital in the English town of Bedford on 2 February.

Dr Alfons Leempoels too has been honoured for his fund-raising efforts. Last year the municipal authorities in Rotselaar made him an Honorary Citizen.   

Speaking on Thursday Dr Leempoels told VRT Radio 2 Flemish Brabant that he never had any doubts about getting vaccinated. "I am not afraid of the vaccine. It will protect me. I never had any doubts. If our Belgian virologists and scientists say that there is no danger then I believe them 100%”.

Dr Leempoels added that if he was still working as a GP, he would definitely have worked on the vaccination campaign. "When I started as a GP there were no vaccines. There were still no vaccines for all the childhood illnesses such as measles, whooping cough and polio. So, I witness the arrival of all those vaccines. I would have liked to have helped if I could have done”. 

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