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Belgium starts large-scale coronavirus vaccination campaign

Credit: Belga

Belgium is starting its large-scale coronavirus vaccination campaign on Tuesday.

After two pilot tests at the end of December which saw around 700 people in nursing homes receive the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, Belgium is ready to launch its official vaccine rollout.

The first official phase concerns 150,000 to 200,000 people in nursing homes in the three regions of Belgium and should finish at the end of January or in early February, according to Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

No date has been provided yet for the start of the next phase, which will involve hospitals and health professionals. Belgium’s vaccination campaign could run through 2021, but the process may be accelerated if vaccines other than the one by Pfizer and BioNTech are approved.

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That could happen as early as Wednesday, as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is in the process of deciding on a recommendation for approval of the coronavirus vaccine by US company Moderna.

Moderna was among the first companies to submit an application for conditional marketing authorisation to EMA, along with Pfizer / BioNTech, whose vaccine was recommended for approval on 21 December 2020, and approved by the European Commission on the same day.

The Belgian government’s Corona Committee hopes that around four million Belgians will be vaccinated by the summer.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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