Temporary limit on AstraZeneca vaccine will have ‘minimal impact’ on vaccination rollout
Share article:
Share article:

Temporary limit on AstraZeneca vaccine will have ‘minimal impact’ on vaccination rollout

Credit: Belga

The decision by Belgium to temporarily limit the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to those over the age of 55 will have little impact on the vaccination campaign in Belgium, according to Federal and Flemish health ministers Frank Vandenbroucke and Wouter Beke.

On Wednesday, the country’s different health ministers decided to suspend the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for people younger than 56 years old for one month after the EMA announced that there is a possible link between the dose and rare cases of blood clots with low blood platelets.

“The decision about the AstraZeneca vaccine will have almost no impact. Around 6,000 shots that need to be rebooked (in Flanders) mainly involve young trainees in hospitals and care facilities, as they will not be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Beke said on Radio 1.

According to the head of Wallonia’s Covid-19 cell, Yvon Englert, a few hundred people will be affected in the south of the country, but if the restriction were to continue beyond four weeks, the campaign would have to “slow down as it still relies on these vaccines.”

Related News


Vandenbroucke explained that this decision would not impact the speed of the vaccination rollout at this stage, as mainly elderly people are being vaccinated, and that the strategy will be discussed again within four weeks.

He emphasised his relief with the decision to not fully stop the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine last month, as “we have saved many lives with it,” adding that there was never any doubt that there are side effects associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, as with any vaccine.

Vandenbroucke criticised the EMA, mainly for its failure to provide more clarity on the risks of each vaccine for various age groups, an issue which he said he raised these issues during a virtual meeting between the health ministers from the EU member states on Wednesday.

“We were not so happy with the fact that the EMA did not extend the analysis further to discuss what the best choice of vaccines is for each age group. If you have a choice of different vaccines, how would you divide them up between those groups?” Vandenbroucke said on Radio 1.

He added that Belgium’s Superior Health Council has looked at the data from EMA and has said that “if you have the choice between different vaccines, and it doesn’t change the speed of the vaccination campaign, then adapt to the age groups and the side effects that each vaccine can bring to that group.”

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...