Vaccination campaign in Flanders to slow down somewhat during the last two weeks of April

The vaccination campaign in Flanders and elsewhere in Belgium is currently in full swing. However, things will slow down somewhat during the last two weeks of this month. While this week around 358,000 people in our region have been vaccinated against coronavirus this week, 233,000 vaccinations are planned for the next week. The reason for the temporary slowdown is simple. Fewer vaccines will be available during the coming two weeks. 

Included in next week’s plans for 233,000 vaccinations are 25,000 shots of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine, the use of which has been put on hold. The Flemish authorities are waiting for advice from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on whether the vaccine should be used. The EMA is due to issue its advice on Tuesday (20 April). If the Johnson&Johnson vaccine can’t be used, the number of vaccinations in our region next week will be 208,000.  

The 358,000 coronavirus vaccines administered in Flanders this week was 40% up the previous week.

At Friday’s Flemish Care and Health Agency vaccination briefing the Flemish Health and Welfare Minister Wouter Beke (Christian democrat) said that it should be possible to have reached a 70% vaccination level of people over the age of 65 in Flanders by the end of next week.

During the last week of April (week commencing 26 April) 202,000 vaccinations are planned. These include 23,000 shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Things will speed up again in May with 337,000 vaccinations planned during the week commencing 3 May and 288,000, 434,000 and 269,000 vaccines respectively due to be administered during the three weeks that follow. 484,000 vaccinations/week are planned for June. However, these figures don’t yet include the extra doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines (1.28 million for Belgium as a whole) that are due to be delivered from the end of April.

Currently people in their early 70s are being vaccinated in Flanders. The Flemish Care and Health Agency’s Dirk Dewolf told the press conference that it will be the turn of people in their 60s next week. Once everyone over the age of 65 has been vaccinated it will be the turn of people with underlying medical conditions. 

In Flanders there are around 835,000 people with underlying medical conditions that make them particularly vulnerable if they become infected with coronavirus. Of these 57% are over the age of 55. Some of these will be vaccinated from next week.

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