Vaccination campaign needs reset, Walloon health minister says
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Vaccination campaign needs reset, Walloon health minister says

Credit: Belga

“The vaccination campaign needs to be reset,” Walloon Health Minister Christie Morreale said on Monday.

Morreale said this as she and regional minister-president Elio Di Rupo visited the LouvExpo in La Louvière where the vaccination of front-line healthcare workers has begun.

In this phase, around 120,000 people who will receive either the Pfizer vaccine, or the AstraZeneca vaccine if they are under 55 years of age, in accordance with the opinion given last weekend by the High Council of Health.

However, a large-scale Scottish study now shows that the AstraZeneca vaccine is more than 90% effective in elderly subjects.

“This data will make it possible to make the vaccination campaign more flexible and occupy the time slots left free in the vaccination centres,” Morreale said.

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The reset she envisions includes authorising the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people over 55.

The question of spacing out the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine must also be raised, as well as that of administering only one dose to those who already have antibodies.

The High Council of Health is due to discuss these issues at the beginning of this week before a new inter-ministerial health conference on Wednesday.

Around 142,200 people in Wallonia have received their first vaccine dose, and 89,720 Walloons are fully vaccinated according to official figures from Sciensano on Monday.

The region has suffered 314,318 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, representing 40.7% of Belgium’s 771,511 confirmed cases as of 1 March 2021.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times