And three. After access to vaccines, still under development, developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford and Johnson & Johnson, Belgium is now securing a third source of supply for anti-Covid vaccines.
Our country is joining the European purchase agreement on the vaccine against the coronavirus developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, of which it was communicated, today, that it was 95% effective against the virus (against 90%, as initially communicated). The Flemish Minister of Health Wouter Beke (CD&V) formalized the news in the Flemish Parliament. The Interministerial Conference (CIM) Public Health has given the green light to the operation.
“If this vaccine obtains a marketing authorization, Belgium will buy it”, indicated the CIM in a press release, recalling that it is the European Commission which leads the negotiations on behalf of the Member States for the procedures of purchase of Covid-19 vaccines, and submit contracts to Member States. In Belgium, the advisory committee responsible for analyzing purchasing files gave a positive opinion for the vaccine candidate from Pfizer and BioNTech. The Interministerial Conference (CIM) followed this advice on Wednesday.
As for the distribution in Europe of the American and German vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTEch, the contract concerns the purchase of 448 million doses to be distributed according to the size of the population of the Member States concerned. For Belgium, it can be estimated at around 5 million doses. As a reminder, the vaccine developed by Pfizer must be administered in two doses.
If the Russian vaccine candidate Sputnik V shows at this stage an efficiency percentage of 92%, that those of Moderna and Pfizer are displayed respectively at 94.5% and 95%, let us recall that at this stage, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca-Oxford have not yet communicated their quantified conclusions.
While it is advisable to remain cautious (the studies and trials are not yet complete), the very high percentages of efficacy against the disease advanced so far by the various pharmaceutical companies are hopeful “incredible” in the history of vaccination. After the final validation of these vaccine candidates by the health authorities, two major challenges will arise before them. First, a logistical challenge in order to succeed in the largest global vaccination campaign ever orchestrated. Second, it will be a question of convincing the population, a significant part of which shows mistrust of vaccines developed in record time.