Belgian health minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) told Francophone TV: “Numerous are the uncertainties and people need to understand the vaccination taskforce will continually have to review its strategy, but Pfizer and AstraZeneca are turning this into an extremely difficult mission.”
AstraZeneca will make good the shortfall in the long run but said Mr Vandenbroucke: “This is extremely painful at the start of the vaccination campaign. This is very bad news.”
Pfizer too is supplying fewer doses than planned, but in the second quarter an extra 4.4 million doses have been promised with extra supplies in the third and fourth quarters too.
Mr Vandenbroucke underlined the reliance on pharmaceutical companies and urged the European commission to adopt forthright positions towards the industry and demand they deliver what was promised.