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First consignment of AstraZeneca vaccines to be delivered at the end of next week

The Vaccination Task Force has announced that a first consignment of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine will be delivered to Belgium at the end of next week. 80,000 doses of the vaccine that was granted approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday will be delivered. Belgium can expect a further 300,000 doses of the vaccine in a second shipment expected to arrive ten days later. 

It is still unclear whether the vaccine will be used to vaccinate the over 65s. There has been much discussion about its suitability for older people as there is little test data on its effectiveness among the over 65s. It could well be the case that it works equally well at protecting older people as it does people in other age demographics. However, more research is needed before this can be confirmed.

On Friday the EMA approved the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for everyone over the age of 18 but left it to the authorities in the individual member states to decide whether or not they will use it to vaccinate older people. Belgium has yet to decide what it will do.

Professor Pierre Van Damme told the press conference that any decision will be based on all the data and not just on a few reports in the press.

Despite delays in supplies of vaccines it is still the intent to start vaccinating the wider population before the summer. The Head of the Vaccination Task Force Dirk Ramakers told journalists that “It everything remains unchanged the vaccination programme should be complete by September”.

By which he meant that by then everyone that wants to be vaccinated will have been given a first dose by then. 

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