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Pupils at Dutch-medium secondary schools in Brussels to be offered a corona jab

The Brussels regional minister responsible for Dutch-medium education in the capital Sven Gatz (Flemish liberal) has announced that from the start of the new term on 1 September pupils in Brussels’ Dutch-medium secondary schools that haven’t been vaccinated so far will be offered a coronavirus jab at school. 

Just over 20% of pupils in Brussels are taught through the medium of Dutch. The aim of offering the jabs at school is to try and increase the immunisation rate in the capital as it is far lower than elsewhere in Belgium. Not only pupils, but also their parent(s) or guardian(s) will also be able to be vaccinated through the school. 

Currently just 11% of Brussels youngsters between the ages of 12 and 17 have been fully immunised. 22% have received one dose of coronavirus vaccine.

During the first weeks of the new term the regional body responsible for Dutch-medium education and the regional body in charge of the vaccination campaign in Brussels will try and convince pupils and their parents to get a jab. 

When the schools return next week pupils in Brussels (both in Dutch- and French-medium schools) will be subject to much stricter anti-corona measures that their counterparts in Flanders and Wallonia. The vaccination rate in Brussels is relatively low and this is reflected in far higher infection and hospitalisation rates than in the rest of the country. On Thursday the Brussels-Capital Region became dark red on the European coronavirus infection rate map.

If possible, the vaccinations of schoolchildren and their parents will take place at school. Schools near to vaccinations centres that are still open will accompany their pupils and parents to the vaccination centre.  

Secondary school pupils under the age of 16 will require written permission form their parent or guardian in order to get a jab. Those over the age of 16 won’t require this. 

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