Belgium will temporarily only give AstraZeneca vaccine to over-55s
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Belgium will temporarily only give AstraZeneca vaccine to over-55s

Credit: Belga

Belgium will temporarily only administer AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for people over 55 years old, according to Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

On Wednesday, the country’s different health ministers decided to suspend the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for people younger than 56, Vandenbroucke confirmed to several local media.

“This changes very little in the current vaccination campaign, which will continue unabated,” he told VRT News. “Currently, we are focusing [vaccinations] on the over-65s and on people who have certain diseases. Those are also predominantly older people.”

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“We had already resolved not to send people under 56 years of age an invitation for the AstraZeneca vaccination,” Vandenbroucke said. We are going to stick to that for the next four weeks. Then we will see what we can do best.”

“We hope to get a better analysis from the European Union on the AstraZeneca vaccine for different age groups by then,” he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) stated that a “possible link” was found between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and very rare cases of blood clotting, but maintained that the benefits outweighed the risks.

Additionally, the agency stated that based on the current data, no specific risk factors (such as age or gender) could be identified, and did not recommend any measures such as an age limit.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times