Monkey business: Antwerp zoo put kids at ease for virus jab

A young boy is administered a COVID-19 vaccine while he shines a light on photos of monkeys at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
A young boy is administered a COVID-19 vaccine while he shines a light on photos of monkeys at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Credit: Virginia Mayo

The Belgian city of Antwerp has put its faith in monkey business to put kids at ease for their first COVID-19 jab

ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) — The Belgian city of Antwerp has put its faith in monkey business to put kids at ease for their first COVID-19 jab.

With the expansion of the country's vaccination campaign to include children as young as 5, Belgian authorities are getting creative as they try to prevent kids getting spooked by the sight of vials and needles.

Antwerp on Wednesday made use of one its greatest assets — the zoo in the center of town which is one of the finest in Europe.

While adult vaccination centers focus on the conveyor belt principle to process as many people in as short a time as possible, it takes more patience with kids.

Close to the zoo's entrance, specially designed safari tents were set up, with photos of zoo animals. To distract them inside the tent, kids were given light pointers to seek out the animals they liked best while they got their shot.

If there was any pain, it quickly dissipated when they and their parents were allowed to stroll through the zoo's greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure.

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Parents and children look at a Mandrill move a Christmas tree in the monkey enclosure after the children received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Parents and children look at a Mandrill move a Christmas tree in the monkey enclosure after the children received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
Parents and children look at a Mandrill move a Christmas tree in the monkey enclosure after the children received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
A vaccinator walks between tents where children receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

A vaccinator walks between tents where children receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
A vaccinator walks between tents where children receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
A parent and child take a walk through the greenhouse after the son received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

A parent and child take a walk through the greenhouse after the son received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
A parent and child take a walk through the greenhouse after the son received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
A young girl holds her brothers arm as he is administered a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

A young girl holds her brothers arm as he is administered a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
A young girl holds her brothers arm as he is administered a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
Parents and children look at a Mandrill move a Christmas tree in the monkey enclosure after the children received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Parents and children look at a Mandrill move a Christmas tree in the monkey enclosure after the children received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
Parents and children look at a Mandrill move a Christmas tree in the monkey enclosure after the children received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
Parents and children look at a Ring-tailed Lemurs in the monkey enclosure after the children received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Parents and children look at a Ring-tailed Lemurs in the monkey enclosure after the children received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
Parents and children look at a Ring-tailed Lemurs in the monkey enclosure after the children received a COVID-19 vaccine at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
Parents and children walk to the entrance of a COVID-19 vaccine center at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Parents and children walk to the entrance of a COVID-19 vaccine center at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
Parents and children walk to the entrance of a COVID-19 vaccine center at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
A young girl is administered a COVID-19 vaccine while she looks at photos of monkeys at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

A young girl is administered a COVID-19 vaccine while she looks at photos of monkeys at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

caption arrowCaption
A young girl is administered a COVID-19 vaccine while she looks at photos of monkeys at the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. In an effort to make children more at ease in getting their vaccine, specially designed safari tents with photos of zoo animals have been installed to provide a more private setting with a vaccinator. Once they have received the vaccine, children and parents can stroll through the greenhouse and visit the monkey enclosure. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Credit: Virginia Mayo

Credit: Virginia Mayo