CORONA VACCINATION: FAQS
WHY IS VACCINATION AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS IMPORTANT?
The corona vaccine is gradually making us dream again of life before corona. Meeting up with friends and family, going to a restaurant, to concerts or matches/competitions… Things that the corona vaccine can gradually make possible again.
The vaccination offers only benefits, both for you and for your environment.
After the corona vaccination, the risk of contracting the corona virus is very small. This will reduce the pressure on our healthcare providers and help building group immunity. And that is the best way to stop the further spread of the coronavirus and to protect the people who can’t be vaccinated.
WHO WILL BE VACCINATED FIRST?
The Inter-ministerial Conference on Public Health has determined that the vaccinations will be divided into three phases.
In the first phase, residents and staff of the residential care centers will be administered the corona vaccine. Third parties such as interns, students and volunteers in the residential care centers are also vaccinated. This vaccination campaign will start in January 2021.
After the residential care centers, it is the turn of the people in the collective care institutions and their volunteers. Then care workers from hospitals and primary health care and finally the non-medical staff from hospitals and care institutions.
In the second phase, people over 65, the 45-65-year-olds with an underlying health problem and people with essential professions (for example: fire brigade and police) are administered the vaccine.
In the final phase, other patients at risk and the rest of the population are vaccinated.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE VACCINE?
As with any vaccine, the most common complaints after vaccination are pain, redness or muscle stiffness around the place of injection. Some people get a fever, muscle aches, are tired or nauseous. These are mild complaints, which indicate that our immune system is being stimulated by the vaccination. They pass on their own after 24 to 48 hours. Fever is more common after the second dose of the vaccine.
In rare cases, there are serious or long-lasting side effects. The chance of this is very small. The Phizer / BionTech vaccine is a very pure vaccine and contains no preservatives, mercury or adjuvants, which means that the risk of serious side effects is extremely small. Adjuvants are substances that are added to vaccines to obtain a faster and more intense immune response.
WHO IS NOT (YET) VACCINATED?
Pregnant women. Women who want to become pregnant should wait 2 months after vaccination before becoming pregnant.
people with a history of severe generalized allergic reactions to vaccines;
people with acute infections and fever;
People who have recently recovered from COVID-19 should wait until 15 days after the symptoms disappear before vaccination;
children and young people under the age of 16.
Those who are not yet eligible for vaccination due to, for example, illness, pregnancy ... will be able to get vaccinated at a later stage, via the vaccination centers.
IS THE CORONAVACCINE MANDATORY?
No, the corona vaccine is not mandatory in Belgium, but strongly recommended so that group immunity can be built up.
I RECOVERED FROM THE CORONAVIRUS. DO I NEED TO GET VACCINATED?
Yes. If you had the coronavirus, you will have antibodies for a period of time that make you temporarily immune to the coronavirus. It is not yet clear how long this immunity lasts after going through the infection and how effective it is. We already see re-infections appear from 8 weeks after the first infection. It is expected that protection will last longer after vaccination than after experiencing the disease.
Do you have COVID-19 at the moment? Then it is best to wait until 15 days after the symptoms have disappeared before having the corona vaccine administered. That way, the side effects of the virus and side effects of the vaccine can be held apart. It is expected that protection will last longer after vaccination than after experiencing the disease.
WHEN DO WE ACHIEVE GROUP IMMUNITY?
At a vaccine effectiveness of 90%, at least 70% of the population must be vaccinated to achieve group immunity. "Group immunity" means that a sufficiently large group of people build up resistance to a virus. This makes it difficult for the virus to spread further and quickly among the population. Every person with immunity creates a barrier against the virus. 70% vaccination coverage is a minimum requirement for this, but the higher the vaccination coverage, the better we can protect vulnerable people.
This is important to also protect people who Can’t be vaccinated.
Scientists will monitor whether the coronavirus changes over time and whether the vaccines can protect people from infection with new variants.
Stricter corona measures from Thursday 29th October - Region of Flanders
The corona numbers will continue to rise in the coming days. That is why the Flemish government has worked out new measures with the aim of limiting social contacts as much as possible. These new measures will take effect on Thursday 29th Octobre 2020 (at midnight). No end date has been set for these new measures. The Government will regularly evaluate and adjust them.
All indoor leisure activities will be prohibited (museums, cinemas, swimming pools, bowling alleys,...).
All indoor sports activities will be prohibited for those over 12 years old.
Outdoor sports are only allowed in groups of a maximum of 4 people.
All culture houses will be closed. Libraries can remain open.
All events are forbidden.
Shopping: maximum 2 adults, or 1 adult and 1 child.
Religious services, weddings and funerals may only take place with respect for the rules of distance and limited to 40 people.
All youth activities for young people aged over 12 shall be prohibited. For -12 year olds, youth and sports camps may continue (without overnight stay).
The autumn holidays are extended until 11 November
Colleges and universities go to code red (distance learning, except for first year students and practice-based classes)
We will keep you informed if there is more news
Update 26th October - COVID 19 - New measures Brussels-Capital Region
Today, one in seven tests carried out in the Brussels-Capital Region is positive.
It is crucial that each of us adhere strictly to the basic rules, i.e. respect the hygiene measures, keep a distance of one and a half metres and always wear a mouth mask that covers the nose and mouth whenever it is not possible to keep a distance.
The following measures will take effect on 26 October:
restaurants, bars and cafés, as well as tea and coffee shops, must close their doors (establishments serving alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages);
curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Exceptions only for work, medical reasons or care of others;
All shops close at 8 pm, take-away until 10 pm. Shopping has to be done on your own;
Sports clubs for both professional and amateur athletes must close the canteen. Sports training is only allowed for children - 12 years old;
Culture houses, museums, cinemas, betting offices, casinos and festivity halls must close;
In the Region's public areas it is compulsory to wear a mouth mask, it is forbidden to meet with more than 4 people and it is forbidden to consume alcohol.
A maximum of 15 people may be present at funerals.
Marriages may only take place in the presence of the couple and witnesses;
Prohibition of religious ceremonies such as during first lockdown.
Checks on the new measures will be intensified and strictly applied.
Stricter corona measures from Monday 19th October
The corona numbers will continue to rise in the coming days. That is why the Belgian government has drawn up new measures to ensure that the crisis does not worsen further.
Close contacts are contacts outside the people with whom you live together and where the 1.5 meter distance does not apply and who you can hug, cuddle, kiss, ...
At home you may receive a maximum of 4 people, provided that the 1.5 metres is respected (the same 4 people for 2 weeks each time),
Teleworking will become the rule where it is possible (if not possible, you should be guaranteed to work in safe conditions),
cafes and restaurants close for a month from Monday (with an evaluation after 2 weeks),
Take away meals are allowed until 22 o’clock,
The sale of alcohol after 20 o’clock will be prohibited,
There will be a curfew. Therefore, you may not leave your home between midnight and 5 a.m. without a valid reason (work or health reason).
Markets where you buy food remain open, but follow the guidelines given on the spot.
Christmas markets, so-called winter villages and flea markets will be banned again,
Coffee tables as part of a funeral can accommodate up to 40 people, Other occasions such as weddings or religious celebrations are not allowed.
Activities without protocol are limited to a maximum of 40 people.
Protocols in the cultural and sports sector for organising large or small events will be reviewed next week. We will keep you informed when there is more news.
Measures for the organisation of activities
Registration of participants is required: work with registrations or invitations with confirmation.
Keep an attendance list (for possible contact tracing)
Clear measures for participants: communicate them in advance, appoint someone to follow them up
Make the measures visible during activity, start the activity with a review of the measures
Keep the activity short
First aid mandatory: mouth mask and gloves
Respect the distance between the participants
Make bubbles: per family, per generation,...
Participants bring mouth mask and alcohol gel to disinfect hands. Provide extra
Risk groups (over 65 years, people with an underlying disorder): it is the shared responsibility of the organisation and the participant. Think carefully about this when assessing the risk!
- Provide ventilation! Open windows and doors if possible
Attention to the hygiene of sanitary facilities
Disinfect the site before and after the activity or agree this with the local manager.
COVID 19 - Update Brussels Capital Region - 8th of october 2020
Today, one in seven tests carried out in the Brussels-Capital Region is positive.
It is crucial that each of us adhere strictly to the basic rules, i.e. respect the hygiene measures, keep a distance of one and a half metres and wear a mouth mask covering the nose and mouth whenever it is not possible to keep a distance.
The following additional measures enter into force on 8 October:
bars and cafés, but also tea and coffee shops must close their doors (places serving alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks);
sports clubs for both professional and amateur athletes must close the canteen;
amateur sports clubs must not allow lower sections of the public into indoor areas;
ballrooms must close their doors;
it is forbidden to consume alcohol in the Region's public areas.
The following measures will also be extended by one month from Thursday 8 October:
bookshops with a play area (gambling room) and all other shops selling drinks or food (even if this is a secondary activity) will have to close at 10 p.m. (as is already the case for night shops);
consumption of food will be prohibited on the markets;
checks on the new measures will be stepped up and strictly applied.
Covid 19 - update, 6th Ocobre 2020
Today, the Federal Government and the Minister-Presidents of the federated entities addressed the epidemiological situation regarding COVID-19. The Consultative Committee assessed the situation as being particularly serious and therefore decided to adopt stricter measures. In addition, the Consultative Committee has appointed a COVID-19 Commissioner.
The current development of the pandemic is of particular concern; the number of infections, hospital admissions and deaths is on the rise. In order to avoid a general lockdown, the Consultative Committee has decided on a number of stricter measures.
Close contacts: limitation to a maximum of 3 close contacts per month; A close contact implies contact closer than 1.5 m without a face mask;
Private gatherings at home: maximum 4 people, maintaining a social distance or with a face mask if social distancing is not possible;
Cafés, canteens and other drinking establishments: maximum 4 people per table, except for family members living under the same roof;
Non-organised outdoor gatherings: maximum 4 people, except for family members living under the same roof;
Closing time cafés: 11 pm;
Additional awareness-raising and enforcement efforts will be implemented to ensure that these measures are applied everywhere;
Working from home is highly recommended, several days per week.
Back to school, how will it go?
All pupils will be able to go back to school from 1 September, across all levels of education, based on the "code yellow" defined by the communities.
As a reminder, the code yellow refers to a situation where the virus is still active but under control. This system allows for a normal school week of 5 days, subject to certain health measures, such as compulsory wearing of mouth masks for pupils over 12 years old and for teachers, and the suspension of certain extracurricular activities in secondary education.
In addition to this common system, Ministers of Education in municipalities where peaks of infection are observed will switch to color code orange. This colour code implies adjustments, such as a reduced number of school days for the second and third grades of secondary education. Parents, children and teachers will be informed by the schools.
At the level of higher education, since the school year starts later there, talks are still taking place to harmonize the rules that will apply at the student campuses.
Can you keep your child at home?
No, you are not allowed to keep your child at home unless you have a legitimate reason: for example, your child has to be quarantined, your child is ill for a long period of time and/or belongs to the at-risk group.
Children who are kept at home without a valid reason are registered by the school with a code for problematic absences. Your child is then considered a truant. The school will talk to you to find a solution together. It is important that your child is able to talk about possible fears. The CLB (centre of pupil guidance) can help your child with this. If no solution is found, the child benefit (Growth Package) can be reclaimed in due course.\
Additional support growth package/children's allowance corona crisis
Families experiencing financial difficulties due to a loss of income because of the corona crisis can receive a one-time extra support of 120 euros through the Growth Package (family allowances).
For whom is the COVID-19 allowance intended?
The allowance is for families that meet these 3 conditions:
1. with children who receive a Growth Package;
2. who have a loss of income of at least 10% in March, April, May or June compared to January or February 2020 due to the corona crisis;
3. and where the family income is below the threshold of EUR 2,213.30 gross
How much is the supplement?
You will receive 120 euros for each child entitled to a Growth Package.
You will receive this amount in three instalments of 40 euros:
You will not automatically receive the COVID-19 supplement. An application is required.
How can you apply for the supplement?
You apply for the supplement with the payment provider of your growth package/child benefit. This can be done up to and including 31 October 2020. Contact your payment provider:
Infino, 078 15 12 30,
Parentia, 02 549 72 19,
MyFamily, 03 221 08 11,
FONS, 078 79 00 07,
KidsLife, 050 47 42 99,
Easing of rules Province of Antwerp
From Thursday 27 August, the stricter rules that applied in the province of Antwerp will not be extended. This means that:
1. you do not have to wear a mouth mask in the public domain, you only have to do so in busy places, on public transport and in shops.
2. You must always have a mouth mask with you.
3. The curfew has been lifted
From 27 August, the same rules will therefore apply in the province of Antwerp as in the rest of Belgium.
On 20 August, the National Security Council announced the following measures applicable from 1 September to the end of September
From the 1st of September and for a period of one month:
The social bubble of 5 people – i.e. people with whom citizens have close contact – will continue to apply, under the same conditions as in August. Contacts with other people while respecting the safety distance are still limited to 10 people at a time.
General measures concerning social contacts are difficult to sustain in the longer term. We have to be able to move out of crisis management mode and enter a long-term risk management mode. We need to be able to come up with a new to maintain our social contacts, in a sustainable way. To make sure we can do so in the most normal way possible while protecting everyone’s health, Celeval’s experts – with the support of other specialists such as psychologists – were asked to give priority to this issue.
Receptions after a funeral can take place with a maximum of 50 people, in accordance with the rules that apply to the hospitality industry. The next NSC will address the issue of a possible relaxation of the rules for receptions in general.
As far as shops are concerned, people can now shop in pairs (these two people can be accompanied by a minor who is living under the same roof of one of these two people or a person in need of assistance) without any time limit. Naturally, we still rely on people using their common sense to avoid crowding. Unlike the other measures, which enter into effect from 1 September, this measure will apply from 24 August.
With regard to public events, the maximum number of people admitted to public events – sporting events, theatres, cultural activities, places of worship, conference centres or auditoriums – will be extended to 200 people indoors and 400 people outdoors. Wearing a face mask is still mandatory as well as respecting the safety rules and protocols. To provide for more flexibility to professionals – provided safety rules are respected – this rule may be deviated from after consulting with the mayor and provided the competent ministers approve.
People who have been physically separated in recent months because they come from different countries and who can provide proof of a lasting relationship but are not married will be able to cross the border from 1 September. These people will be subject to the same testing and quarantine rules as all others.
Penalty of up to 4,000 euros for those who fail to undergo testing after returning from red zone
Anyone who, after a stay abroad, does not undergo the compulsory corona test on their return from a red zone, risks a fine of up to 4,000 euros. This is confirmed by the spokesperson of Minister Philippe De Backer.
Anyone returning from a red zone must undergo a test and be quarantined for at least 9 days. If you return from an orange zone, isolation is strongly recommended. For many this seems to be too much. Although mandatory, only one out of two Belgians returning from a red zone get tested. The others register, but do not show up for the test.
There is now an agreement with the regions to introduce the same principle for tourists as before for high-risk contacts. These are people who have been in close contact with established corona patients for a long period of time. Through an amendment to the law high-risk contacts are obliged to undergo corona testing and quarantine. Consequently, sanctions also apply to those who do not abide by the rules: fines of 208 to 4,000 euros, and even imprisonment from 8 days to six months.
Measures in force in Hasselt taken by the city council
The city council of Hasselt has taken a package of measures to make shopping in the city centre safe. There are awareness-raising messages on the streets, the city centre is car-free, there is a live stream from the city centre... We are happy to give you some guidelines:
1. Check out the live stream of the city centre at This way you can get a picture of the expected crowds at any time.
2. Coming by bike? Because the federal government's guidelines require cyclists and pedestrians to be separated, we do ask you to park your bike at the edge of the city centre. So do not ride your bike in the shopping streets.
3. Are you coming by car? Downtown is car-free. The bollards go up from Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 6 am. Check out our parking tips on vlotnaarhasselt.be
4. Keep 1.5 meters distance
5. Enter the shop alone (or with a minor with whom you live under the same roof), a shop visit takes a maximum of 30 minutes per shop.
6. Wearing mouth masks is mandatory in the city centre, among other places. See all the locations where it is mandatory to wear a mouth mask.
Carefully follow the guidelines in the city and in the shops. Follow walkways if they are provided. Wait patiently for your turn in case of crowds.
7. Apply your hand hygiene correctly. Especially after coughing, sneezing, sniffing and/or visiting the toilet. But also after eating, drinking and smoking.
8. Make maximum use of the online services of the shops. A handy overview can be found on shopinhasselt.be
Update corona/covid19 measures valid for the province of Antwerp
Antwerp Provincial Governor Cathy Berx has announced three adjustments to the measures in the province:
The mouth mask requirement in Antwerp will be adapted for people with a medical disability and during heavy physical work. They will not be obliged to wear a mouth mask and the police will also enforce the mouth mask obligation more "with caution".
Fitness centres will be allowed to open, but with stricter rules. If an offence is detected, the centre will have to close for 14 days.
For organized sports apply:
- children under 12: admitted up to a maximum of 50 people per group, with a supervising manager, but contact is permitted. - young people up to the age of 18: groups of up to 10 people, which must always be the same
- except at sports camps or when the sport is organised by the local authority - but even then contact is permitted. In the case of contact sports such as judo and karate, a mouth mask is compulsory for these young people.
- adults: groups are limited to a maximum of 10 and only contactless sports are allowed.
The second wave of corona/covid19 is a fact!
Since a few weeks the virus has been reappearing in Belgium, and this in all its intensity.
On Monday 27 July, the National Security Council decided to tighten up the measures. Several local authorities are also introducing rules concerning social contacts and the wearing of mouth masks. And even stricter measures have been taken in the province of Antwerp.
The International Committee therefore advises its associations to be extremely cautious when organising activities. We strongly advise against activities that take place indoors, although they are not forbidden everywhere. If you want to organize activities in the open air, please inform yourself thoroughly about the applicable rules of the Federal, Flemish, but certainly also the local authorities. Follow them carefully, the fines can be high and you will have to bear them yourself! If in doubt, ask your contact person at the IC.
These are the most important rules agreed upon on Monday 27 July:
From Wednesday 29 July, your social bubble may only consist of the same 5 people. This for the next four weeks and for a whole family, no longer per individual. Children under the age of twelve are not included in this count. These 5 persons are people on top of your family. Unaccompanied meetings such as family or friends meetings are limited to a maximum of 10 people (children under 12 are not included). This limit also applies to receptions and banquets.
Events attracting a large audience are limited to a maximum of 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors, where it is mandatory to wear a mouth mask.
Teleworking is strongly recommended where possible in order to avoid too much contact between colleagues.
Grocery shopping should be done alone (or accompanied by a minor living under the same roof or a person in need of assistance), maximum 30 minutes.
Keep an eye on the news about corona:
In the province of Antwerp, additional measures have been taken in addition to those of the National Security Council:
What measures apply to the entire territory of the province of Antwerp?
In the province there is a curfew in the sense that public social life stops between 11.30 pm and 6 am. Everyone must be at home between 11.30pm and 6am, except for necessary travel (to work, hospital, etc.).
Cafés and restaurants close at 11 pm. Mouth masks.
In the province of Antwerp, everyone over 12 years of age is obliged to wear a mask that covers both your mouth and nose in the public domain and in places where the physical distance of 1.5 metres cannot be guaranteed. This obligation does not apply while eating and drinking and in the private sphere (at home).
In all cafés and catering establishments, the physical distance of one and a half metres between the parties must always be guaranteed, unless the parties are separated from each other by a physical barrier. Individual registration is mandatory. In order to make contact tracing possible, these details must be kept for 4 weeks. In restaurants and cafes the company at a table is limited to a strict maximum number of people or to a group consisting of members of the same family.
For markets, the same rules apply for shops: no 'fun shopping': you go to the market by yourself or only in the company of minor children or your companion when you are in need of assistance, and no longer than 30 minutes. Stalls set up as catering establishments are not allowed at markets.
Teleworking becomes compulsory, except when this is absolutely impossible.
Individual contact sports are forbidden.
Team sports are forbidden for athletes over the age of 18.
In the most affected zone (city of Antwerp, Zwijndrecht, Stabroek, Kapellen, Brasschaat, Schoten, Wijnegem, Wommelgem, Ranst, Boechout, Borsbeek, Mortsel, Hove, Lint, Kontich, Edegem, Aartselaar, Boom, Niel, Schelle and Hemiksem, Rumst) additional measures will be taken.
All events and festivities are strictly forbidden,
party rooms are closed.
All fitness centres will close.
News about corona in the province of Antwerp can be found on:
It is always good to keep the 5 golden rules in mind. Attention!
1. The hygiene rules remain essential. This means: wash hands and do not shake hands or kiss when greeting.
2. Activities preferably take place outdoors. If that is not possible, the room must be sufficiently ventilated.
3. You must take extra precautions if you meet people at risk.
4. The distance rules continue to apply, except for people from your own household and the 5 people in your extended bubble and children under 12.
5. You may have closer contact with a fixed group of 5 people.