Production of coronavirus vaccine worth 1 billion euro to the Belgian economy

The production of coronavirus vaccines at the Pfizer factory at Puurs in Antwerp Province is worth 1 billion euro to the Belgian economy. That’s according to projections from the National Bank of Belgium and the Federal Bureau of Statistics Statbel. The extra wealth created by the production of the vaccine here is for the most part due to the additional jobs that have been created. 

The National Bank of Belgium’s projections show economic growth of 6.2% in Belgium during 2021. The pharmaceutical industry, in particular the Pfizer plant at Puurs where coronavirus vaccines are produced, has played an important roll in fuelling growth in our country’s economy. 

The production of vaccines alone is worth 1 billion euro to the Belgian economy. The financial daily ‘De Tijd’ reports that without the vaccines being produced here, the Belgian economy would “only” have grown by 5.9% in 2021.

Caroline Ven of the pharmaceutical industry federation pharma.be told VRT News that “This year’s figures are not yet all in. However, the industry has been growing for years. Our last full figures are from 2020. Then were saw a 7-billion-euro rise in exports. There will certainly be a similar big rise in 2021. So, the projection of 1-billion-euro additional wealth created would not surprise me and is within the scope of what can be expected”. 

Additional jobs

The addition wealth created is in part thanks to the extra jobs that have been created, not only at Pfizer, but also at other pharmaceutical companies.

"Wealth creation and job creation go hand in hand. In 2020 there was an increase in the number of jobs, as many as 40,000 jobs and this certainly won’t have diminished during the past year, on the contrary”, Ms Ven said.

"These jobs include employment for graduates that are required in labs and in the production facilities of pharmaceutical companies. If you look at the jobs created indirectly, such as in transport and logistics, then you can times the figure of 40,000 by three”, Ms Ven added.

She went on to say that the pharmaceutical industry has been an important motor for wealth creation in Belgium for many years now.

"For a long time now, Belgium has been a world player and a focal point for the production of vaccines. The pharmaceutical industry is the most important manufacturing industry in Belgium. This was already the case before the production of coronavirus vaccines got under way and it is certainly the case now”.  

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