Breaking News

Belgium maintains its confidence in AstraZeneca

The authorities assure that the country was not the recipient of the batch in question in Denmark in particular, and that Luxembourg preferred to exclude from its vaccination campaign as a precaution.

The authorities assure that the country was not the recipient of the batch in question in Denmark in particular, and that Luxembourg preferred to exclude from its vaccination campaign as a precaution.

From our correspondent, Max Helleff (Brussels) – Belgium maintains its full confidence in AstraZeneca. Like France elsewhere. On Thursday, this vaccine was suspended by Denmark first, due to fears of blood clots, and this despite reassuring statements from the European regulator and the manufacturer. About ten Member States followed suit, invoking the precautionary principle. Luxembourg has withdrawn a batch of this vaccine.

The Belgian authorities insist that the Danish decision is based on issues relating to a particular lot. No dose of the suspect AstraZeneca vaccine batch has been delivered to Belgium, Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter said. Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke made the same speech in the House.

After the countless hiccups at the start, the Belgian vaccine strategy has entered the 65+ phase. It will therefore affect more people, and faster. In particular thanks to the decision to delay the administration of the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, postponed from 21 to 35 days after the first injection, which will make it possible to increase the number of patients treated.

However, this pace remains too slow for some to taste. 7% of Belgians have received the first dose of Pfizer to date. In the opposition, the humanist deputy Georges Dallemagne declares himself in favor of a form of vaccination passport, a “certificate of vaccination”, but also of compulsory vaccination under certain conditions. Unlike “discrimination, this certificate would give additional freedom to many,” he says. The MP relays a fear often mentioned: the refusal of a part of the population to be vaccinated could undermine the objective of collective immunity.

The number of deaths linked to the coronavirus is up 7%, logically following with delay the recent increase in hospital admissions. With more than 22,000 deaths, Belgium is the “second in the world” in terms of the number of deaths. Today, nearly 2,000 people are still hospitalized. And, according to the Sciensano Public Health Institute, although there is no third wave, Belgium is not about to leave the pandemic “plateau” on which it finds itself.

In spite of everything, we must return to a life as normal as possible and the authorities think of young people first. In an unexpected Facebook live, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo addressed those “who had to put part of their life on hold”.

In concrete terms, the start of the school year will resume 100% face-to-face for all students on April 19, after the Easter holidays. However, the 3rd and 4th secondary (14-16 years old) will be able to return to class before this date, on March 22 or 29. “We are worried about what is happening in terms of the mental health of our adolescents. We have warning signals from the medical world, child psychiatrists, etc., and we cannot ignore them, ”French-speaking Minister of Education Caroline Désir assured Bel-RTL. Each day is therefore “good to take”, she continued while specifying that all the end-of-year exams will be well organized.

In the race against the virus, all initiatives are welcome. A pilot project has just been launched in around twenty schools where teachers will be invited to self-collect a saliva sample once a week which will be analyzed. An SMS will notify the teacher the next morning of the result.


Tags

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close
Close