Belgium will make no distinction between people with and without the Belgian nationality when vaccinating the population against the coronavirus, as long as All legal residents in Belgium will be entitled to vaccination regardless of their nationality.
“Anyone who is a legal resident in Belgium,” Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke told Belgian news outlet De Standaard. “It is not possible to make a distinction on the basis of nationality in a situation like this with a pandemic.”
One of the reasons behind this rationale is that vaccinating only Belgian nationals could risk having a lower threshold than desired to achieve herd immunity in Belgium. A vaccination coverage of minimum 70% is needed to accomplish herd immunity.
According to Statbel, Belgium’s official statistics office, almost 1,5 million people living in Belgium are of a different nationality, the majority of which come from other European countries. Discussions on payment at a European level are being held.
All legal residents will receive a letter with all relevant information regarding their vaccination date and time. Anyone who wants to can get the vaccine free of charge will be able to do so, according to the authorities. There will be no distinction based on nationality.
A similar procedure will apply to people who are not European citizens but are residents in Belgium. According to the cabinet, the number of people applying for asylum represent only a small percentage of the total.
Nationality will not determine how Covid-19 vaccinations are scheduled. Non-Belgians in nursing homes are already being vaccinated, as well as their non-Belgian co-inhabitants. Hospital staff and healthcare workers will be next.