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Belgian well being minister says “little doubt” AstraZenca is a “good vaccine”

Belgian Minister of Well being Frank Vandenbroucke in Brussels, Belgium, on February 26. Isopix/Shutterstock

Belgian Minister of Well being Frank Vandenbroucke sought to reassure the nation concerning the AstraZeneca vaccine, following a choice to briefly pause administering it to these aged 18 to 55.

“There is no such thing as a doubt about that it’s a good vaccine. It protects towards the illness,” he mentioned.  However he cautioned that it does have unwanted side effects, “like every vaccine.” 

The choice by Belgium to droop utilizing AstraZeneca got here after a discovering by the European Medicines Company (EMA) that there was a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and “very uncommon circumstances of blood clots” however that the advantages of the vaccine proceed to out weigh the dangers.

“There is no such thing as a doubt that if in case you have the selection between vaccination with AstraZeneca or no vaccination, it’s best to get vaccinated instantly with AstraZeneca,” Vandenbroucke emphasised throughout an interview on VRT Radio 1 Wednesday.

Following the recommendation of Belgium’s Superior Well being Council, Vandenbroucke mentioned the nation would now, “use AstraZeneca for the considerably older folks and use the opposite vaccines earlier for the youthful folks.”

He added that this was solely potential, “As a result of we have now the luxurious of selecting from quite a lot of vaccines and we are able to unfold the danger with out impacting our vaccination technique.”

On the information offered by the EMA to a digital assembly of European Well being Ministers Vandenbroucke mentioned, “We discovered that EMA really nonetheless had homework,” including he was not the one Minister to have raised this concern.

“We’re not so comfortable that the EMA has not taken the evaluation a little bit additional, particularly what’s the best option between the completely different vaccines for the completely different age teams

Final month Belgium had determined to proceed its vaccination marketing campaign for all folks aged over 18 with the AstraZeneca vaccine, whereas different European nations suspended utilizing the vaccine over blood-clotting considerations pending an investigation by the EMA.

Requested why Belgium had continued when others hadn’t, Vandenbroucke mentioned: “If we had then determined to not use the vaccine anymore, we’d have needed to flip the marketing campaign the other way up. Thankfully we didn’t try this then, as a result of that will surely have value lives.”

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