Danny Gys / Reporters

Professor Van Gucht calls for caution

At Tuesday morning’s National Crisis Centre press conference, the virologist Professor Steven Van Gucht said that although the figures relating to the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium are falling sharply, we should remain cautious. Professor Van Gucht cited the example of Portugal and the United Kingdom and said that they show that “the tide can still turn as long as a lot of people have still not been fully immunised”. 

The virologist went onto say that Belgium could have changed from amber to green on the European coronavirus infection map before the start of the school summer vacation on 1 July.

"The infection figures are now falling by half every week. At this rate we will have reached an incidence of less than 50 new infections per 100,000 population by 28 June”. 

700,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine expected on 29 June

Also, at the press conference Gudrun Briat of the Vaccination Working Group stressed that the period between the administration of the first and second dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine can only be shortened from 12 to 8 weeks once sufficient supplies of the vaccine have been delivered. A delivery of 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is due to arrive in Belgium on 29 June. 

“We hope that this delivery will go ahead on time”, Ms Briat said.

"If this is the case it will be possible to shorten the interval before the administration of the second dose”.

Meanwhile, 94,000 Flemings between the ages of 18 and 40 have said that they have no objections to being given the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine that offers immunisation after one dose is only given to people under the age of 41 if they expressly state that they have no objections. 

Mr Briat said that here too “We are keeping our fingers crossed for a speedy delivery”.


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