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Production delays at Pfizer won't derail Belgian vaccination programme

The pharmaceuticals company Pfizer has said that it won’t be able to provide Belgium with as many doses of its coronavirus during January and February as had been previously announced. Subject to the green light from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Pfizer vaccine will be used here from January. However, delays to production mean that not as many doses of the vaccine as planned will be available during the first couple of months of next year. The news has been confirmed by the office of the Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist). 

All being well Belgium will start vaccinating on Tuesday 5 January. From then 600,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were due to be delivered here in January and February. However, this will no longer be the case and it is unclear how many vaccines will be delivered during the first two months of next year.

Pfizer says that the delays won’t have an impact on the starting date of the vaccination programme.  

The company said in a press statement that "The further roll out of the vaccines will be a little slower than planned. The implementation of the vaccine programme as it is now can start in January as planned”.

Pfizer adds that modifications to its production lines in Europe and the USA have now been completed and its factories are currently working flat out on the production of the vaccine.

"Based on the current prognosis we expect to produce up 50 million doses of the vaccine before the end of the year. We have every confidence that we will be able to deliver 1.3 billion doses before the end of 2021.

The Chairman of the Vaccine Strategy Taskforce Dirk Ramaekers has said in an interview with VRT News that the production issues at Pfizer won’t have an impact on the first stage of the vaccine programme. 

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