Belgium subscribes to purchase of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine
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Belgium subscribes to purchase of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine

Credit: Belga

Belgium will subscribe to the European purchase procedure for Moderna’s candidate Covid-19 vaccine, the interministerial Public Health conference announced on Wednesday.

The conference met on Wednesday morning and followed the positive opinion for the Moderna vaccine by the advisory committee in charge of analysing purchase files.

If the Moderna vaccine receives a marketing authorisation, the European Commission will purchase 80 million doses, of which Belgium would buy 2 million.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Tuesday that “as soon as the vaccines are ready, we as a country will be ready to vaccinate as many Belgians as possible, as soon as possible,” mentioning a start date of 5 January.

However, Belgium has not been able to agree on a vaccination strategy yet. This was one of the talking points during Wednesday’s interministerial Public Health conference, as it must be decided on by not only the federal government but also the federated entities.

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Opposition party DéFI’s president François De Smet has warned that “we can’t fail the vaccination stage,” as failure would mean keeping Belgium in what he called an “in-between period” of going in and out of lockdown.

Belgium has also registered for the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines. The latter was authorised on Wednesday in the UK, with the country expecting to start vaccinations as of next week.

Moderna’s vaccine is one of six contracts with pharmaceutical companies that the EU has signed to date.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times