Flanders to administer 50,000 more coronavirus vaccines than last week
Monday, 01 March 2021
The vaccination campaign against the coronavirus in Flanders will be accelerated this week, with some 129,489 shots set to be administered, around 50,000 more than were given in the region last week.
Just 78,422 people in Flanders received their vaccine last week. However, the rollout will now be increased, especially in hospitals, where up to 75,860 vaccines will be distributed among the staff, compared to only 28,088 in the previous week.
People with disabilities in the region will receive 10,000 fewer doses than last week, around 13,758 vaccines compared to 23,184. However, around 15,318 first shots of the Pfizer vaccine are planned for people aged over 65 years who are living in service flats in Flanders.
Flemish vaccination centres will continue to be affected by the decreased deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine as just 21,500 units were dispatched to be administered to primary care staff.
Limited use and decreased deliveries
The decreased and delayed deliveries of both the Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have played a major factor in the slow pace of the vaccination campaign so far.
The British-Swedish pharmaceutical company has said that, from 7 March onwards, no further reductions in deliveries are expected.
However, of the doses that Belgium did receive, just four out of five doses delivered by the EU were being used, as it administered just 9,832 of the acquired 201,600 doses, according to a Guardian investigation based on data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
However, on 28 February, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said he will ask the Superior Health Council whether the AstraZeneca vaccine could now be administered to people over the age of 55, adding that could be a real game-changer.
“If we can administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to everyone, our vaccination campaign can be simpler and more direct,” he explained. “We have also asked the (Vaccination) Task Force how we can speed up the planning,” he said speaking on ‘De Zevende Dag’ TV programme.