AstraZeneca delivered 696,000 new coronavirus vaccines to Belgium this afternoon. This was confirmed by the vaccination task force and the Flemish Minister of Health Wouter Beck (CD&V). Vaccines will allow at-risk patients and people over 65 years of age to bring forward their appointment for a second shot starting tomorrow. That will Through the reservation system through which the first appointment was registered, or via the help desk at your local vaccination center.
The interval between AstraZeneca’s shots was reduced from 12 to 8 weeks in mid-May, but only for those who got their first shot from May 24. Those who had already received their first vaccination at that time left with their appointment 12 weeks later. According to the government, there weren’t enough vaccines to suddenly reduce the interval for everyone.
In practice, this situation has meant that many at-risk patients and the elderly will not be fully vaccinated until mid-August, long after younger, healthy people have been vaccinated. This is because they receive a vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna, only 5 or 4 weeks apart. This led to a great deal of dissatisfaction, especially with the advanced delta variant. Currently, about 300,000 Flemish people still received their first injection of the AstraZeneca vaccine when there were still 12 weeks between the two injections.
835,000 doses via “super syringes”
“I fully support the request for people with underlying conditions to reduce this from twelve to eight weeks,” Flemish Health Minister Water Beck (CD&V) said in the Flemish Parliament this afternoon. But there is one condition for this and that is that supplies must be present. I heard this morning that they will be arriving this afternoon, and I hope they are.”
Final confirmation of delivery came this afternoon. This relates to 696,000 vaccines for all of Belgium. With the state-of-the-art “super syringe” that our vaccination centers operate, more than 835,000 doses can be obtained. That’s suddenly enough vaccinations for all of your second shots left with AstraZeneca.
Get a little understanding, especially on the first day, because positions will be crossed.
Concretely, due to the high connectivity, vaccination centers will open additional times with AstraZeneca, which people can then book themselves. To be clear, this is not mandatory, everyone wants to leave their current date. By July 6 at the latest, the vaccines will be distributed to the various vaccination centers to make appointments.
Minister Beck asks for the residents’ understanding of the intensive work in the vaccination centers. It could be hundreds of thousands of people. It’s hard for us to appreciate, because many will take their vacation into consideration, too.”
“But the centers are not running their fingers at the moment either. A million vaccines will be rolled out in the next two weeks. There will be open moments and the centers will do everything they can to fill those moments. But you have a little bit of understanding, especially on the first day, because the centers will be bypassed.”
Cancel the current appointment
Thus those who wish will be able to choose an early moment for the second injection, depending on availability. You can do this by canceling your current second appointment via the confirmation email you received when booking the appointment. Via the link, you will be able to book a new appointment and choose a moment early between 8 and 12 weeks after your first appointment.
Everyone can check as of tomorrow if appointments are available next week or later, via email to confirm your appointment for a second dose 12 weeks later. It’s normal not to immediately find a moment to spare, and then try again a few days later. Your vaccination center may still be planning. Also monitor your vaccination center’s website and social media to find out when your center is offering free appointment submission moments.
The Federal Immunization Team asks you to rebook the appointment yourself as often as possible, and only if this is not possible, call the vaccination center’s help desk to make your appointment. Even if you no longer have a confirmation email, you can call the vaccination center so they can book a new appointment. In principle, this is also possible from tomorrow, but the staff warns that the help desk may be temporarily overburdened tomorrow.
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