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Belgian Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke in Brussels, Belgium, on February 26.
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 in opposition to the illness,” he mentioned.  However he cautioned that it does have unwanted side effects, “like several 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 instances 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 you probably 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 individuals and use the opposite vaccines earlier for the youthful individuals.”

He added that this was solely attainable, “As a result of we now have the luxurious of selecting from quite a lot of vaccines and we are able to unfold the chance 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 truly nonetheless had homework,” including he was not the one Minister to have raised this concern.

“We’re not so completely happy that the EMA has not taken the evaluation slightly additional, specifically what’s the best option between the totally different vaccines for the totally different age teams

Final month Belgium had determined to proceed its vaccination marketing campaign for all individuals aged over 18 with the AstraZeneca vaccine, whereas different European international locations suspended utilizing the vaccine over blood-clotting issues 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 wrong way up. Fortuitously we didn’t do this then, as a result of that would definitely have value lives.”

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