AstraZeneca: Belgium wants Europe’s growing vaccine surplus
Share article:
Share article:

AstraZeneca: Belgium wants Europe’s growing vaccine surplus

Credit: Belga/Jonas Roosens

Belgium has asked pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the surplus vaccine doses from the countries that have temporarily put the company’s jabs on hold over recent concerns about possible side effects.

In recent days, a number of European countries have announced they are temporarily suspending AstraZeneca vaccinations following reports of blood clotting, meaning they are currently not using their doses.

“I have contacted AstraZeneca and asked whether it is possible to make use of the extras, if there are any,” Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke said in the Flemish Parliament on Wednesday. “If we can get them, we will use them in our strategy.”

How many extra doses that would be, or how exactly they could impact Flanders or Belgium’s vaccination campaign is not clear, Beke’s spokesperson Carmen De Rudder told The Brussels Times.

“We have shown interest and inquired about the shipments that would normally go to other countries, but will not be used now that those vaccinations have been paused,” she added. “It was an important signal.”

Related News:


The countries that have paused their vaccinations are building up stock, but since Belgium has continued to vaccinate, the country could make good use of those extra shipments, according to Beke.

“I have been informed that they are investigating our request and that they are waiting for the message from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) tomorrow,” Beke said. “I think a number of countries have pushed the pause button, but want to restart as soon as possible.”

At least 15 European countries, including Belgium’s neighbours France, the Netherlands and Germany, have suspended vaccinations with AstraZeneca’s vaccine in recent days, following reports of patients experiencing blood clots.

Belgium, however, announced that it would continue to follow the advice of the EMA, which is currently looking into the vaccine again, but stated that “the benefits outweigh the risks” while the investigation is ongoing.

So far, no causal link between the vaccine and blood clots has been found, and Belgium’s health agency (FAMHP) stated that “the incidence of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people does not appear to be generally higher than in the general population.”

In the meantime and “for the time being,” the World Health Organisation also continues to recommend vaccination with AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

The EMA is expected to give further clarification about the vaccine in a new opinion on Thursday.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Over 50,000 march against fascism in Rome
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against fascism in Rome on Saturday, one week after violent protests against the Covid certificate. Over ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Belgium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Unfinished draft of new Astérix story discovered
The discovery of the unfinished draft of a cartoon album on the most famous of all Gauls, sketched by cartoonist René Goscinny, was announced by his ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...