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The European Commission is holding negotiations on behalf of the Member States for procurement procedures for COVID-19 vaccines and is presenting contracts to the Member States. In Belgium, the Advisory Committee responsible for the analysis of the procurement files issued a positive recommendation for Janssen's (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine candidate. The Interministerial Conference (IMC) for Public Health has followed the advice. Belgium will buy the vaccine if a marketing authorisation is granted.

The FAMHP will continue to closely monitor their distribution. In order to provide patients, doctors and pharmacists with the best possible information, the FAMHP collected the most up-to-date information from the three authorisation holders concerned (Sanofi, Mylan, GSK) on the planned delivery dates to  wholesaler-distributors. According to this, approximately one third of the planned vaccines must still be delivered.

The FAMHP makes a first assessment of the situation regarding the distribution of flu vaccines. More than half of the vaccines have yet to be placed on the market.

Because of COVID-19, it is even more important to vaccinate at-risk groups, including older people, as widely as possible against seasonal flu. All people aged 50 years and older can get the flu vaccine in pharmacies without a prescription issued by the doctor (general practitioner).

EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP), in which the FAMHP takes part, has started the first ‘rolling reviews’ of COVID-19 vaccines. The review concerns the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer. 

From 1 May 2021, notification of the insertion or removal of implants will become compulsory for the implants listed in the annex to the Royal Decree of 27.09.2020 relating to the Central Traceability Register (RCT in French). This notification was already possible (but not compulsory) for all implants since 2014.

In April 2020, the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) and Sciensano set up an extraordinary validation procedure for serological tests for SARS-CoV-2. The procedure turned out to be effective during the initial phase of the pandemic. The situation being experienced by the manufacturers and distributors of these tests and by the clinical laboratories carrying out the tests has now returned to normal. This is why a staged return to the conventional way of working is now being implemented.

How can health authorities such as the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in collaboration with all stakeholders, regulate innovative medicines and health products and innovate regulations? Find out all about it at the 17th TOPRA symposium, where innovation is central and which will take place from 5 to 8 October 2020. This symposium is organized in collaboration with the FAMHP.

On 1 April 2020, the FAMHP took steps regarding a range of medicinal products in order to avoid any shortage. These measures have now been extended by one month.

The FPS Public Health and FAMHP would like to invite you to take part in the public consultation on a clinical trial testing the genetically modified drug PF-06939926 for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The public consultation will run from 23 September 2020 to 23 October 2020.