‘UK vaccinates 1,000 per minute’: expert criticises Belgium’s vaccination speed
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‘UK vaccinates 1,000 per minute’: expert criticises Belgium’s vaccination speed

Credit: © Anthony Dehez/Belga

The CEO of the University hospital in Brussels (UZ Brussel), Marc Noppen, has criticised Belgium for not going fast enough in its vaccination campaign.

On Twitter, Noppen compared Belgium’s vaccination progress to that of the United Kingdom, sharing an article stating that the UK is vaccinating about 1,000 people per minute.

“UK: vaccinates up to 1,000 people per MINUTE. We: ‘we are ahead of schedule’. No comment…,” Noppen tweeted, referring to recent statements by Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon.

The UK government is confident that within three months, more than 30 million of the country’s most vulnerable people will be vaccinated.

So far, the UK mainly administered the first vaccine doses – of vaccines for which two doses are needed for optimal protection – to make as many people as possible partially immune to the virus as soon as possible.

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From this month, the National Health Service (NHS) will start setting aside vaccine supplies, to be able to offer second doses to millions of people from mid-March, reports The Times. This will not cause a dramatic slowdown in the number of new people being vaccinated, according to the government.

In Belgium, according to the latest figures (from 7 February), over 336,000 people have already received the first dose of the vaccine since the country started its campaign at the end of December – which is about 3.65% of the adult population.

A total of 104,340 people also received their second dose – making up 1.14% of the adult population in Belgium.

In the United Kingdom, vaccinations started in mid-December and, according to the latest figures (also those of 7 February), 12,294,006 people have received the first dose, and 512,581 have already received their second dose.

According to Belgium’s vaccination strategy, the country is aiming to vaccinate at least 70% of the population – the threshold for herd immunity – by September.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times