Vaccination campaign gaining speed: centres open on Sundays as numbers of doses are increasing

The vaccination campaign in Belgium is finally picking up speed. Three vaccination centres are now opening on Sundays as well, as higher numbers of new doses are coming in.

Until now, there were hardly any centres open on Sunday, but this is about to change. Today, the hubs in Malle (Antwerp), Tielt (West Flanders) and Sint-Niklaas (East Flanders) are opening their doors to cope with an increasing amount of doses that are becoming available. They will be followed by other vaccination sites in the coming weeks. Belgium has 95 of these vaccination places. The number of volunteers is very high, and they are prepared to work longer hours if necessary. 

Next week will see some 360,000 jabs (compared to 250,000 this week) in people's arms. "This will go up to reach 500,000 by the end of May and in June. This means that opening hours will be adapted to be able to cope", explains Ria Vandenreyt of the Flemish Health Care Agency. 

The number of jabs will be almost 50 percent up next week

Janssen vaccine arrives early

Next week will see the first vaccinations with the Janssen vaccine, which only requires one jab. The arrival of the Janssen vaccine comes a week earlier than expected; Belgium will receive 100,000 doses this month. It's the fourth vaccine in Belgium, after Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Oxford. 

Earlier, the Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke had said "every adult in Flanders should be vaccinated by 11 July". He put forward this symbolic date of the Flemish holiday, adding that all will depend on the vaccine deliveries. For the moment, it looks as if Flanders is on track to meet this aim. 

Belgium can count on 100,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine to start with this month, a new boost to the campaign

How are the different regions doing?

Yesterday, Flanders reached a first milestone as 1 million people received at least a first dose of a corona vaccine. In Flanders, 19.4 percent of the people have been vaccinated so far, compared to 20.3 percent in Wallonia, 20 percent in the German-speaking areas in eastern Belgium and 15.4 percent in Brussels.  


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