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Belgium won’t get Covid-19 vaccines before mid-January

Credit: Belga

Belgium will receive its first Covid-19 vaccines by mid-January at the earliest, Walloon Health Minister Christie Morreale warned on Tuesday.

“The whole system is being put in place” and part of it should be validated on Wednesday during a new interministerial Public Health conference, Morreale told the regional parliament committee.

The interministerial Public Health conference should, in particular, make it possible to decide on the priority groups for vaccination.

“We will follow the conclusions of the specialists and decide to vaccinate, in order, the staff and residents of health centres, social health staff, the over-65s and then the over-45s with co-morbidity,” Morreale said.

In concrete terms, Wallonia will be responsible for organising the vaccination in the accommodation institutions dependent on the region “and in the centres that will be identified to make the vaccination of the Walloon population operational,” she added, pointing out that the authorities have already decided that the vaccine will be free of charge.

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Morreale’s estimation corresponds to a statement in early November by the director of the European agency in charge of epidemics that vaccinations in the EU could begin “in the first quarter of 2021” in an “optimistic” scenario.

On Monday, American biotechnology company Moderna announced that it would officially request approval of its coronavirus vaccine to the US and European authorities.

Moderna said that its vaccine was 94.1% effective in preventing infection with Covid-19, and 100% effective at preventing a serious form of the virus.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times