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First AstraZeneca vaccines begin arriving in Europe

© Belga

After moments of uncertainty about their delivery, the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus have arrived in the European Union.

France received its first doses on Friday, and will begin administering them on today (Saturday), with priority given to healthcare workers.

Austria, Germany, Ireland and Spain are also scheduled to begin rolling out the vaccine, while Portugal will only receive its first doses next week.

The vaccines are distributed by truck through different hubs on the continent.

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In Belgium, 443,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine could be administered in February, for people between 18 and 55 years old, the Vaccination Taskforce said on Saturday.

A heated controversy over delivery had developed between the EU and AstraZeneca after the manufacturer announced that it could not deliver as many doses of its vaccine as originally agreed.

The company first said it would only be able to deliver 31 million vaccines instead of the original 80 million, in February and April.

However, it said last week that it would supply the EU with 40 million doses in the two months.

The Brussels Times