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European Parliament will set up vaccination centers for MEPs, staff and locals



The European Parliament is preparing to set up two vaccination centers on its premises and get jabs for all MEPs, staff and assistants who are over 65 or at risk, according to an internal note seen by POLITICO.

The Parliament’s services “are working to set up a vaccination centre in Brussels,” which “will be approved by the Belgian health authorities” and “will be designed to optimize people’s safety,” read the note issued Wednesday by Klaus Welle, the Parliament’s secretary-general.

A first center is slated to be operational in March, when Belgium switches to “phase 1b” of the vaccination rollout. Vaccines would be available for MEPs and staff over 65 or over 45 if they have preexisting conditions such as “obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular, lung, kidney and liver disease [or] recent cancers,” the note said.

Welle also mentioned ongoing discussions to make sure that staff in Strasbourg — the official seat of the Parliament — and in Luxembourg, where other offices are located, have access to vaccinations.

The second Brussels-based center will be installed “as part of solidarity measures by Parliament with our host country,” and will be available to people in the Brussels region. “Talks are also ongoing with the Brussels region to provide additional space for their vaccination centres on the EP premises,” Welle’s note read. “A final location is still to be determined.”

Welle added in his note that the Parliament’s COVID-19 preventive measures had worked well as in December, “just 28 confirmed cases of Covid-19” were recorded in the Parliament.

“Compared with the peak in October, when case numbers were much higher and 100% teleworking had to be reintroduced, the latest figures show that the effort made by all of us has paid off,” Welle wrote. “It is essential therefore to continue to comply with the measures to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Belgium is aiming to vaccinate 70 percent of its population by the end of the summer.

Residents and staff of care homes and health care professionals are the first to be vaccinated. After people over 65 and people over 45 who are at risk get their jab in March, it will be the turn of “critical workers holding essential duties” in April and the rest of the population from June.



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