The European Commission is conducting negotiations on behalf of the Member States for procurement procedures for COVID-19 vaccines and is submitting contracts to the Member States. In Belgium, the Advisory Committee responsible for the analysis of the procurement files issued a positive recommendation for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate. The Inter-ministerial Conference (IMC) on Public Health of 18 November 2020 then made a decision. Belgium will buy the vaccine if a marketing authorisation is granted.
Given the current health crisis, many teams around the world are working simultaneously to develop a safe and effective vaccine of good quality as quickly as possible. The purpose of the European Commission's negotiations and the Advisory Committee's work is to ensure that EU citizens, including the population of Belgium, and primarily the priority target groups, have access to a vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as one is authorised.
Mid-August 2020, the Advisory Committee already issued a positive recommendation for the contract for the vaccine candidate of AstraZeneca and Oxford University and in November 2020 for the vaccine candidate being developed by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
The Advisory Committee has now issued a positive recommendation for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate. The European contract concerns the purchase of 200 million doses, which will be distributed according to the population size of the interested Member States. The number of doses for Belgium will be around 5 million. In total, 2.5 million people can be vaccinated as the procedure for this specific vaccine consists of two doses. At the beginning of October 2020, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) started a rolling review for this vaccine candidate.
This advisory procedure on procurement is independent from the procedure for the granting of a marketing authorisation for a vaccine. This remains under the remit of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in cooperation with the national competent authorities. If no marketing authorisation is granted by the EMA for the vaccine in question, the contract will be terminated. Currently, the EMA has not yet granted any authorisation for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccination program will be co-funded by the federal government (80%) and by the federated entities (20%).
Vaccines for COVID-19