Belgian hospitals asked to suspend vaccinations

The hospitals will be allowed to use the vaccines that they have in the freezer, but may then have to postpone the vaccinations for two weeks, according to Belga news agency. [EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ]

The Belgian government is postponing the vaccinations of hospital staff as vaccine manufacturer Pfizer is delivering fewer vaccines to the country than anticipated.

The hospitals will be allowed to use the vaccines that they have in the freezer, but may then have to postpone the vaccinations for two weeks, according to Belga news agency.

“All hospitals in all regions of the country have to adapt to the schedule and review their vaccination planning,” Sabine Stordeur, project manager of the Taskforce Vaccination, told the RTBF.

“The supply is done at the national level and the allocation is then made in proportion to population. If a region has to change its schedule, all regions must do so,” Stordeur said.

“Planning has to evolve almost from day to day and we hardly know how to plan,” she said, adding that vaccination of hospital staff is starting at a slower pace than the task force had hoped for last week.

It would in the end not be a question of the speed of the vaccination, but of having available the necessary vaccines “to carry out the vaccination campaign, Stordeur noted, stressing that the vaccines are currently arriving in “relatively modest” quantities.

The Agency for Care and Health announced the vaccines that are available this week and expected next week are reserved for residential care centres. As of 18 January, half of residents and health staff in nursing homes have been vaccinated.

At the same time, De Standaard reports that hospitals, employees and doctors feel abandoned by the government.

(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe
Contribute