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Brussels officials are working to introduce a vaccination centre in Brussels that will serve MEPs and some of their staff members from March. Klaus Welle, the Parliament’s secretary-general, said officials are working with “Belgian health authorities” to open the first vaccination centre. But the decision has been lambasted by some MEPs and other political figures across the bloc, who told Express.co.uk the EU institution should not benefit from special treatment at a time member states are still lagging behind with their vaccination programmes.

Frexit campaigner Charles-Henri Gallois said the plan was a “disgrace”.

He blasted: “The vaccination centre to vaccinate MEPs and their staff in Brussels from March is a disgraceful privilege.

“The EU has been absolutely toxic and inefficient in dealing with the vaccination.

“All the countries are way behind the UK and most people won’t have the privilege to be vaccinated by March. EU MEPs will.

“The EU is rewarded for its mediocrity. It’s a ‘mediocracy’.”

Echoing his sentiment, Italexit campaigners said the plan showed the European Parliament and the European institutions “indicate to citizens that they come before others”.

Former Brexit Party MEP Alexandra Phillips said the decision was “disgusting”.

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She denounced Brussels’ inability to come up with a working vaccination programme for EU citizens whilst prioritising its own officials.

She said: “How galling it must be for 450 million European citizens robbed of rapid vaccination roll out by the EU to learn that their own precious staff will be protected by a European Parliament special vaccination centre in March.

“Preventing member states buying their own supplies to then dangerously delay approvals and woefully under-procure stocks has meant thousands of preventable lost lives across the continent for the sake of EU solidarity.

“That solidarity looks even thinner when the EU bureaucrats then put themselves at the front of the queue. This is nothing short of disgusting.”

Italian MEP Francesca Donato went even further as she questioned the EU’s failure to investigate the efficacy of vaccines given to people who have already contracted the virus in the last eight months.

The Lega MEP said: “Regarding the forthcoming opening of a vaccination centre at the EP in Brussels, I raise several concerns.

“Firstly, I note the absence of any reaction from the European authorities with respect to the numerous and daily reports of adverse reactions that come from all over the world, even very serious ones, as well as deaths as a result of vaccines, in particular Pfizer.

“In Norway, for example, where 23 deaths were recorded among freshly vaccinated RSA guests, the Ministry of Health changed the guidelines of the vaccination campaign, banning the administration of vaccines to the elderly and frail subjects.

“In the EU, on the other hand, priority is given to precisely those subjects, who have proved most vulnerable to the common side effects of the vaccine.

“Secondly, there is talk of vaccinating ‘all EP members and their staff’. But people who have already contracted Covid and are cured are not taken into account, therefore already immune for at least eight months according to the latest sworn research and studies.

“Moreover, several reports indicate that the vaccine administered to the recovered can provoke excessive and dangerous immune reactions.

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“So, in my opinion, the EU institutions should be more concerned with protecting the health of all citizens, including MEPs, from all risks, starting with those that the vaccines themselves entail, immediately restoring freedom and serenity to people certainly and naturally immune to Covid, the healed.”

Italian MEP Marco Zanni confirmed he raised the issue with European Parliament President David Sassoli.

He said he had warned the Parliament chief his group, as well as others, will not support the decision if it will look like MEPs are getting a preferential treatment above other EU citizens.

He said: “The administration of the European Parliament has informed us of the vaccination plan, which at the moment is still smoky.

“They informed us of the intention to install a vaccination centre, but the modalities are still unclear.

“In the conference of Presidents, I asked Sassoli that the vaccination plan does not give rise to any privileges for MEPs and staff, which we will oppose if this is the case.

“Most other groups also agreed and asked for this.

“He has guaranteed that the programme for the European Parliament will not be privileged and will follow procedures and times established by the Belgian authorities, which is the host country.

“Technically, the matter is discussed and decided by the Bureau of the European Parliament, which includes the President, 14 Vice Presidents and five Quaestors.”

Italian MEP Antonio Maria Rinaldi, on the other hand, said he was not surprised by the move given the high risk incurred by European Parliament members and their staff moving across 27 countries.

He said: “If they had started at the end of December then there would have been suspicion of privileges but in March I think it is normal considering that the European Parliament is at very high risk because thousands of people arrive from 27 countries and therefore with the danger of spreading.”

A note from Mr Welle stated that officials “are working to set up a vaccination centre in Brussels”.

The German explained that roll-out of the jabs would follow Belgium’s “phase 1b” of the country’s domestic vaccination strategy.

Under the plan, MEPs and staff over 65 would be eligible to receive the jab at the Parliament’s facility, which “will be designed to optimise people’s safety”.

Vaccinations will also be offered to those over 45 if they have pre-existing medical conditions, such as “obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular, lung, kidney and liver disease or recent cancers”.

The facility will be funded by EU taxpayers who already support the private medical care of MEPs.

It is not yet clear whether the doses will be secured from the EU’s joint vaccine scheme, which has heavily criticised for slow roll-outs.

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