AstraZeneca is not your most favoured provider of a vaccine against the novel Coronavirus in Belgium, where it is synonymous with long waits between doses, late and uncertain deliveries, and age restrictions, so its use has been scaled down drastically.
In two weeks’ time, Belgians will no longer be invited to take a first dose of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the AstraZeneca firm. Any remaining stocks will be reserved for second doses, then for the COVAX programme, Sabine Stordeur said on Saturday on behalf of the Vaccination Task Force.
While deliveries of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and AstraZeneca serums have been “an ongoing disappointment”, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have provided Belgium with a stable supply of vaccines.
The late deliveries by Johnson & Johnson could delay the summer vaccination campaign by two weeks. The delay could even increase to four or five weeks if the age limit of 41 years and above is maintained after the risk/benefit analysis currently being conducted.
Half of adults in Belgium will have received at least one dose of a vaccine by next week while the threshold of 80% vaccination among people with “underlying conditions” could also be attained in the next few days.