Flemish Health Minister reacts positively EMA’s approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine

Early on Friday evening the European Medicines Agency EMA gave approved the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine that was developed at the Oxford University in the UK has become the third coronavirus vaccine to be given the approval of the EMA for use in the 27 EU member states. However, supply issues and questions regarding the vaccine’s efficacity among people over the age of 65 still need to be resolved. 

The German authorities have already said that they won’t be using the vaccine to vaccinate the over 65s there.

The Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke (Christian democrat) has reacted positively to the EMA’s approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Belgium’s High Council for Health must now decide how the AstraZeneca vaccine will be used in the vaccination programme here. Speaking on VRT television on Friday evening Mr Beke said “We asked straight away if this means that we will be able to keep the vaccination programme on schedule. Above all the question now is what this means for the over 65’s. The European Medicines Agency has passed decisions on use of the vaccine to the member states”.

The vaccines expert Professor Pierre Van Damme told VRT News that “Europe says that the vaccine may be used for everyone over the age of 18 but concedes that the data on its efficacity among those over the age of 55 is limited. They have rather passed this (a decision on whether to use the vaccine for older people) on to the 27 member states”.

"The High Council for Health will advise the Vaccination Task Force and the Task Force will look at how this can be fitted into the vaccination strategy. I don’t think that a great deal of time will elapse. We will meet this weekend in order to quickly provide clarity”. 

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