Frank Vandenbroucke

Health ministers OK AstraZeneca vaccine for over 55s

Belgian health ministers have decided that the Oxford vaccine produced by AstraZeneca can be administered to the over 55s.  The ministers are following the advice of the High Council for Health.  The ministers also decided not to increase the lapse of time between the first and second shot of the Pfizer vaccine, but stocks of this vaccines will be increased. Ministers rejected any likelihood of ditching the second dose of any two-dose corona vaccine at least for the time being.

Belgian health minister Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) announced that legal advice is being sought with regard to any increase in the space of time allowed between any first and second dose of a two-dose corona vaccine. Ministers decided not to increase the lapse of time between the first and the second Pfizer shot at this point. Any change in the time schedule means a deviation from the producer’s advice and may need to be OKed by the European authorities.

The health ministers decided to stick to two jabs for any two-dose vaccine and are following High Council for Health advice.

Vaccinologist Pierre Van Damme says there is no scientific evidence supporting the dropping of the second jab, though a British study has shown that the first dose provides significant protection against the virus.  Health minister Vandenbroucke noted that this was a discussion that was not being pursued at the minute.

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