- Title: Lagging behind in vaccinations, Brussels begins jabbing shoppers
- Date: 30th August 2021
- Summary: VARIOUS OF MAN REGISTERING SHOPPER FOR VACCINE
- Embargoed: 13th September 2021 15:36
- Keywords: COVID-19 coronavirus shopping vaccination
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Europe,Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002ESH22X3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Health authorities in Brussels began offering COVID-19 jabs in supermarkets and shopping centres on Monday (August 30) to increase vaccination rates in the Belgian capital that have not kept up with Belgium's rapid inoculation roll-out.
Host to the European Union and NATO, Brussels has jabbed 64 percent of adults -- much lower than surrounding Belgian regions including Flanders which has vaccinated 92 percent of the adult population.
"We're really trying to bring, as much as possible, the vaccine to the people," Inge Neven, crisis manager responsible for the COVID-19 response in Brussels, told Reuters.
Neven said Brussels was home to 182 different nationalities, which made the job of reaching people to encourage them to go to a vaccination centre much harder. Within Brussels, vaccination is also lower in poorer neighbourhoods, even though many are just short walk from the steel and glass EU buildings and the leafy suburbs inhabited by diplomats and officials.
"We are selecting a number of areas where a lot of people are passing by and so we try really to offer them the vaccine at their place, in their environment, where they work, where they go to school, where they live, and also where they shop," she said.
At a Carrefour supermarket in the Brussels neighbourhood of Evere on Monday, 55 people received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson jab, including Esther who said she had come round to getting the shot after seeing friends and family respond well to theirs.
"I didn't want to but I've changed my mind," she said.
"Before I didn't want to because I was afraid, but now I have seen other people taking it who feel better, people in my family who've had it and it hasn't been a problem, so I decided to get one too," she added.
Others worry that Belgium will follow neighbouring France and require proof of vaccination to be able to go into cinemas and cafes.
"I didn't want to do it (get vaccinated). I didn't want to do it but as it's going to become like it is in France, to go into a restaurant you have to show your pass, now I'm doing it," another shopper Rudi Jacquet said.
(Production: Bart Biesemans and Johnny Cotton)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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