Belgium began to deploy the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, innoculating residents at three retirement homes as the first step in a national campaign.
The vaccine launched by Pfizer and BioNTech is the first approved for use in the European Union, and is produced in a plant in Puurs, in Belgian Flanders.
The country has suffered one of the worst per capita death rates in the world during the epidemic, and its nursing homes have been particularly hard hit.
The first doses of the vaccine that scientists hope will turn back the tide went to homes in Puurs, the French-speaking town of Mons and a Brussels suburb.
A much larger campaign will begin in early January, but Belgium wanted to symbolic first vaccinations to start alongside those in its other EU partners.
The country is currently in partial economic and social lockdown as it battles a second wave of infections. A total of 19 200 people have died.