Prominent Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst (55) will receive his first dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, he announced on Twitter.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is “very safe and effective,” Van Ranst stressed, sharing a link explaining the vaccine’s “image problem.”
“That’s why, as a virologist and health worker, I will be administered the AstraZeneca vaccine this afternoon at the vaccination centre in Willebroek,” he tweeted.
Het #AstraZeneca vaccin is een zeer veilig en zeer doeltreffend vaccin. Daarom laat ik mij als viroloog en gezondheidswerker deze namiddag in het Vaccinatiecentrum in Willebroek inspuiten met het AstraZeneca vaccin. https://t.co/AaUZOnzTTp
“People seem to believe this is an inferior vaccine, but we would like to stress that this is very much not the case,” he said during a press conference last week, adding that there is no need to be worried.
Van Gucht stressed that Belgium chose not to use the AstraZeneca vaccine for people over 55 years old yet, because there is still too little data from people in that age group, not because the vaccine does not work as well in the elderly.
Additionally, there is no indication that the vaccine does not protect against serious complaints, Van Gucht said, stressing that protection against serious symptoms is crucial, “because it prevents people from ending up in hospital, which is the main reason why we vaccinate.”