Belgium in Brief: Consequences Of A Missing Signature

Belgium in Brief: Consequences Of A Missing Signature

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.

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1. EU urged to adopt Covid-19 ‘vaccination certificate’ for travel

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.

2. Timeline: How 1 skier landed 5,000 people in quarantine

Mass quarantines seen in the Flemish towns of Edegem and Kontich could have been prevented if one woman had properly followed the rules, according to wide reports in Flemish media.

This incident, which would eventually land thousands in quarantine, also provides an opportunity to break down how one incident can very easily spread the virus. Read More.

3. Belgium’s coronavirus reproduction rate rises above 1.0

Belgium’s coronavirus reproduction rate has risen above 1.0, meaning the pandemic is growing again, according to the latest figures published by the Sciensano public health institute on Wednesday.

Between 10 and 16 January, an average of 1,988.1 new people tested positive per day over the past week, which is a 5% decrease compared to the week before. Read More.

4. Belgium temporarily missed out on 2.5 million vaccines due to a missing signature

A missing signature caused Belgium to temporarily miss out on 2.5 million coronavirus vaccines, Knack magazine reports on Wednesday. Read More.

5. Another man dies in Brussels police custody

The Brussels prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the death of a man in police custody in Brussels.

The investigation has taken custody of the CCTV images of the man’s introduction to the police station and of the cell block where he was held, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Read more.

6. Monks of Westvleteren will now deliver beer to your home

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.

7. Up to 60km/h winds expected in Belgium today

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.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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