Belgium is currently ranked in fifth place in Europe for having administered the most first doses of a coronavirus vaccine so far, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) vaccine tracker.
With over 3.5 million administered, Belgium "has made it to the leading group of Europe, after a complex start," according to Corona Commissioner Pedro Facon, who shared the ranking on Twitter.
— Pedro Facon (@PedroFacon) April 28, 2021
"Aiming for a podium place now," he said, adding that we have to keep going now, "with an influx of deliveries in the coming weeks."
As of Wednesday 28 April, 29.9% of the adult population in Belgium has received its first shot, according to the ECDC. With that, the country is doing better than the European average, which is at 26.5%.
According to the tracker published by the national health institute Sciensano, which is updated more regularly than the ECDC's one, 30.5% of the adult population in Belgium has already received its first dose.
Reacting to Belgium's fifth place, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that this "good news" is due to "the combined efforts of thousands of volunteers, healthcare providers and governments."
De gezamenlijke inspanning van duizenden vrijwilligers, zorgverleners en overheden leidt tot steeds meer en sneller vaccineren.
Goed nieuws, zeker nu er nieuwe versnelling aankomt met volgende week bijna 900.000 vaccins die geleverd worden. https://t.co/r4QQ5XfGpS
— Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) April 28, 2021
He added that the campaign is set to ramp up in speed, with almost 900,000 vaccines being delivered next week.
For second doses, however, Belgium remains slightly below average with 8.2% of the adult population fully vaccinated, compared to 9.6% across the EU.
The country which has vaccinated the largest percentage of its population is currently Hungary, with 44.6% of the population having received a first shot, followed by Malta (40.3%) and Finland (34.6%).
Just one place ahead of Belgium is the Netherlands, where 30.1% of residents have received the first shot.
Despite the EU's vaccination campaign facing heavy criticism from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its "unacceptably" slow rollout, it is expected to reach its target of vaccinating 70% of the adult population before the summer, according to a leaked document from the European Commission in early April.
The Brussels Times