Belgium to research ‘single dose’ rapid Pfizer vaccination
Monday, 28 December 2020
Belgium will look into proposals to administer a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to a high number of people as soon as possible, rather than in two doses, as planned for the moment.
Speaking on Monday on Radio 1 (VRT), Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said he will submit the possible adaptation of the Belgian vaccination program for medical and legal analysis.
“I have asked our taskforce in charge of the vaccination strategy to study this from a medical point of view,” he explained.
Vandenbroucke also instructed the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) to analyse from a legal point of view a possible adaptation of the vaccination strategy and its compatibility with the European regulatory framework for the licensing of vaccines.
“Imagine that doctors say that it would be good to adapt the vaccination programme. What would we then have to do vis-à-vis the European Union, which is the authority on this matter,” Vandenbroucke explained.
In contrast to the medical analysis, which will have to go through a lot of scientific documents, the legal study could go quite quickly, the minister said.
Vandenbroucke’s questions follow a call from scientists to concerned by the dispersion of the “British” variant of Sars CoV-2.
According to Scientists, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, whose availability will still be quite limited at the beginning of this year in Belgium, offers sufficient protection in the short term, allowing the second injection to be postponed until later. Such a choice would therefore allow twice as many people to be inoculated in the short term, they argue.