Johnson & Johnson will deliver 50,000 vaccines to Belgium in April
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Johnson & Johnson will deliver 50,000 vaccines to Belgium in April

Credit: Belga

The first 50,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine will arrive in Belgium this month, according to Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke.

After Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be the fourth Covid-19 jab to be used in Belgium.

“In April, this will still be a modest number,” Beke said on Flemish radio on Thursday. “In the third week of April, they will deliver 30,000 doses, in the fourth week 20,000.”

Unlike other coronavirus vaccines currently authorised for use in the EU, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one jab for a full vaccination.

In total, Belgium is counting on 1.4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was developed by its Belgian subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutica.

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Additionally, Beke also stressed that Pfizer’s deliveries remain punctual, “which is a very good thing,” as it is partly thanks to Pfizer’s vaccines that Belgium was able to speed up its vaccination rollout, according to him.

“During the Easter holidays, 600,000 people will receive their first dose,” Beke said. “That is as many as in the whole of the previous period.”

Additionally, his plan to give every adult in Flanders their first shot by 11 July is still on track, even with the change to the vaccination strategy as AstraZeneca’s jab will temporarily only be given to people over 55 years old.

“It will have almost no impact in the coming weeks,” Beke said. “Out of 1 million invitations, it means that we have to ‘rebook’ 6,000 people.”

According to him, it mainly concerns young trainees who still need to be vaccinated to do their traineeship, in a hospital or care institution, for example. “We are looking for alternatives for them.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times