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Belgium to buy 7.5 million additional Pfizer vaccines

Credit: Belga

Belgium will buy at least 7.5 million additional doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke’s cabinet confirmed on Tuesday.

The doses are part of an additional purchase of 300 million extra doses by the European Commission, which it announced last week. An EU-level steering board convened on Monday evening to negotiate how many doses Member States could receive.

The share that each country has access to depends largely on the size of its population, though there is a little room for negotiation.

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The 7.5 million vaccines from the EU’s new purchase come in addition to 5.1 million doses for which Belgium already has a delivery agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech.

With the two orders combined, Belgium can count on 12.5 million doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine in total, which is enough to vaccinate 6.25 million Belgians.

In addition, the first doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine arrived in Belgium on Monday, Belgium’s Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) told Belga News Agency on Monday.

That vaccine was recommended for approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Wednesday and approved by the European Commission later that same day.

A third vaccine – by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford – could see European approval in late January, as AstraZeneca has submitted its application for a conditional marketing authorisation for its vaccine to EMA.

Belgium started its large-scale vaccination rollout on 5 January after a week with several successful pilot tests.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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