Belgium in Brief: Consequences Of A Missing Signature
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Belgium briefly missed out on 2.5 million coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech at the end of 2020 – not due to delivery issues, but due to a missing signature.
When, in mid-December, the European Commission announced an option to buy an extra 100 million doses, on top of the 200 million ones already purchases, Belgium’s Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) indicated that Belgium wanted to participate.
However, the FAMHP forgot to sign the participation document in time, which cancelled the opportunity to benefit from 2.5 million additional vaccines.
Fortunately, when the Commission negotiated a new order for 200 million doses with the company, Belgium’s “lost” vaccines could successfully be recovered.
According to Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, the “loss” due to the December incident has been corrected and therefore does not compromise the vaccination schedule. “We have solved the problem and Belgium is back on the European train. There is no impact for our country on the number of vaccines, nor on the delivery schedule,” he said.
The aviation industry is urging the EU to adopt a proposal for a digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate, which would enable vaccinated people to travel freely in all Member States.
”[This] initiative should be urgently adopted by the Commission and all member states,” IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac wrote in an open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Vaccination is a fundamental key to safely reopening borders and stimulating economic recovery.” Read more.
The monks of the Sint-Sixtus abbey in Westvleteren in West Flanders are to start delivering the beer often voted best in the world to customers at home.
It was only 18 months ago that the abbey accepted to move into the online age by taking orders online for their three celebrated beers. Orders were however subject to limits: a maximum of two crates of 24 bottles of beer subject to availability. The beers still had to be picked up from the abbey during the time-slot allotted. Read More.
Fairly strong winds are expected in Belgium today, with gusts of up to 60 kilometres per hour during the day getting stronger at night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI). Read More.