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Belgium to donate 4 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to COVAX

Belgium is to donate 4 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to COVAX an international cooperation programme that makes vaccines available for people in poorer countries. The announcement that Belgium is to make a significant contribution to COVAX was made by the Federal Development Aid Minister Meryame Kitir (Flemish socialist) on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’. 

COVAX is a global cooperation programme set up by governments and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that people in poorer countries have access to vaccines to protect them against COVID-19.

Ms Kitir told VRT News that “Currently the pace of vaccination in 30 times quicker in rich countries than it is in poor countries”.  

Belgium had already made funding available for COVAX. In the coming months it will also donate 4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines. 

Lower age limits are in force for the administration of both these vaccines to people in Belgium so is it responsible to donate them for use in country with relatively young population?  "Do you know what would be really unworthy and unethical? If we had vaccines available, but didn’t use them”, Ms Kitir replied.

“The vaccines have been approved. It would be unethical if we were not to use them”.

The Federal Development Aid Minister added that it is important to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Only vaccinating people in our own country would give us “a false sense of security”. 

Leaving a large number of people in other countries unvaccinated would leave the door open for mutations. “We have been lucky up until now that the vaccine offers protection against the mutations, be we need to prevent the mutations occurring”.



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