“Biggest Flemish hospitals can continue to vaccinate staff”

Wouter Beke (Christian democrat), the Flemish health minister, has responded to fears that efforts to immunise hospital staff against coronavirus and provide care home residents with their second dose of the vaccine could be halted in their tracks due to a shortage of vaccines.

Supplier Pfizer is making modifications to its Puurs plant in order to increase production, but for the time being this means production is lower and fewer doses can be supplied. Mr Beke points out that in only two weeks Pfizer twice changed its mind about how many doses it could supply.

The health minister insists that Flanders’ biggest hospitals will be able to continue to vaccinate some staff.  Vaccination of staff in A&Es and in critical care wards will continue at 13 ‘vaccine hub hospitals’. The completion of the vaccination programme for care home residents is not in doubt either.

Next week supplies of Pfizer vaccines to Flanders will be 42% lower than anticipated.  Vaccination of CCU and A&E hospital staff will be prioritised, but calculations will now have to be made to see which vaccinations can go ahead next week.  This should be clear by the end of the week.  In future Flanders intends to base its vaccination strategy on the number of doses supplied in order not to disappoint as is now the case.


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