"Corona vaccine available in Belgium by the end of March"

Belgium will have a good-quality coronavirus vaccine by the end of March. This has been confirmed by the Federal Medicine Agency.

Research is going well. Normally, it takes 7 years to develop a completely new vaccine, but this one may be ready in one year's time. Ann Eeckhout of the federal agency for medicines: "I think a safe, good-quality vaccine will be available on the Belgian market by March next year." She adds that despite the short term, the same high-quality standards will be guaranteed. Belgium will probably get the vaccine developed by Oxford University and distributed by AstraZeneca.  

The different development phases can take place together this time, which allows scientists to win time. There are almost 200 different entities developing a vaccine across the world at present. Eight are in the final phase, i.e. large-scale testing on groups of volunteers: one group that gets the vaccine, another test group that gets a placebo. 

When the vaccine is available, the most vulnerable groups will get priority: those above 65 years of age, health workers, and people between 45 and 65 with underlying illnesses. However, it remains to be seen how strong the vaccine will be: will it make people 100% corona proof, or just reduce any symptoms, and will it also stop people from infecting others who didn't get the vaccine? 

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