Almost 30% of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines delivered to Belgium have not been administered, according to data from the Sciensano public health institute.
Up to 7 March, 1.461 million doses of vaccines were delivered to the country, according to the AFMPS, the federal agency in charge of medicines and health products. However, only 1.044 million had been administered by 10 March, according to Sciensano.
Only 71.5% of the doses supplied have thus been used to vaccinate the population, and about 417,000 doses of vaccines are waiting in refrigerators, La Libre Belgique newspaper reported on Saturday. The gap between the doses supplied and those administered was due to the need to keep a reserve to cover the second injection required for a vaccination to be complete, the daily explained.
The authorities are being extra careful because of the uncertainty surrounding vaccine deliveries by AstraZeneca and Moderna, according to the daily.
Deliveries of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine are more stable and the gap between the first and second doses has now been reduced to 35 days, which should make it possible for the health authorities to speed up the administering of new first doses.
The daily reported Sciensano as saying last Friday that no fewer than 179,188 doses had been administered in Belgium in one week.
However, according to an unofficial tally by COVID-Vaccinatie on Friday, based on official sources, more than 230,000 doses remained available, not counting those reserved for the second shot.