Different vaccines in Belgium: can you choose which one you want?
Share article:
Share article:

Different vaccines in Belgium: can you choose which one you want?

Credit: Pexels

As Belgium’s vaccination campaign has officially started and an increasing number of vaccine doses are becoming available, many people are wondering which vaccine they will get.

Belgium has sped up its vaccination strategy due to the availability of a limited supply of the Moderna vaccine at the end of January and “bonus doses” that healthcare staff can take from the vials of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

However, the availability of several vaccines at the same time – such as Pfizer’s and Moderna’s – has so far not changed anything to the fact that people will not be able to choose which vaccine they want, Caroline Leys, spokesperson for Corona Commissioner Pedro Facon confirmed to The Brussels Times.

In early December – before any vaccines were available – vaccinologist Pierre Van Damme already said that people would not be able to choose their vaccine in the initial phase, as the first ones would immediately go to the priority groups.

Related News:


Now that several Covid-19 vaccines will be available at the same time in Belgium, experts will assess which vaccine is most appropriate for who, based on the efficacy in certain age and/or risk groups, for example – meaning that people will not have the choice.

These decisions will be made based on the characteristics of each vaccine and scientific information, the authorities stressed on the information website about the campaign, laatjevaccineren.be (“get vaccinated”).

“The European approval, however, will guarantee that all vaccines are good ones,” Van Damme said, referring to the recommendation for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which means that the vaccines can be considered “safe and sufficiently effective” to be used in a broad vaccination programme.

If all candidate vaccines that Belgium has subscribed to are given market authorisation, the country should receive over 22 million doses of vaccines.

Additionally, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke announced that the country wants an extra 10 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, now that the EU has doubled its order.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is one of two currently approved for use in the EU, the other being the Moderna vaccine, which was approved on 6 January, after being recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) earlier the same day.

The two vaccines could be joined at the end of January by the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. EMA expects an application for conditional marketing authorisation next week, according to EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke.

According to Belgium’s sped-up vaccination strategy, at least 70% of the population should be vaccinated in September – the threshold that is considered the minimum for herd immunity.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...