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Belgium to start administering Moderna vaccine on Monday

Credit: Belga

Belgium will start administering the Moderna vaccine on Monday, starting with four hospitals including one in Brussels, the office of Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told Belga News Agency on Wednesday.

The Ixelles site of the Iris Sud hospitals will be among them, the hospital network confirmed. The other three hospitals to receive the vaccine will be in Flanders, Wallonia and the German-speaking community.

The hospital in Brussels will receive 800 doses to start administering to its nursing staff of around 2,500 people, Iris Sud hospitals head doctor Philippe Peetrons told the medical journal Le Spécialiste on Wednesday.

Members of staff in contact with patients potentially carrying coronavirus will be the first to be vaccinated, on a voluntary basis, he said.

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The Moderna vaccine was authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last week and approved by the EU.

European distribution of the vaccine started on Monday, and Belgium has already received 8,000 doses.

Another 13,000 will be delivered next week, 31,000 the week of 1 February and 94,000 the week of 15 February.

Like the vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna’s vaccine requires two injections, several weeks apart.

The two EU-approved vaccines could be joined by AstraZeneca / Oxford’s vaccine at the end of January, as EMA received a conditional EU marketing authorisation application from AstraZeneca.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times