People living in residential care centres in Belgium will receive a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine, announced the Interministerial Health Conference on Wednesday.
Based on the advice of the Superior Health Council, the country's different health ministers have given the go-ahead for a third shot for residents of residential care homes, meaning they will receive a booster shot of Pfizer's or Moderna's vaccine.
"With this, we provide an additional layer of protection to our most vulnerable," announced Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke on Twitter. "We are keeping our finger on the pulse and remain vigilant in the fight against the coronavirus."
Bewoners in woonzorgcentra zullen de komende weken een derde prik krijgen. Hiermee geven we een extra beschermingslaag aan onze meest kwetsbaren. We houden de vinger aan de pols en blijven aandachtig in de strijd tegen het coronavirus. #IMC
— Wouter Beke (@wbeke) September 22, 2021
However, there is still some uncertainty about the usefulness of a third vaccination dose for people over 85 years old living at home, according to Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.
"We want to weigh all the data very carefully again," he told VRT. "People in residential care homes were the first to be vaccinated and it is very clear that they could very well use a third shot to boost their resilience."
With this decision, the group of care centre residents will be added to the group of people with a weakened immune system who are also receiving a third shot.
"The group is indeed being expanded," said Beke. "On the one hand, we want to provide oxygen to society, but on the other hand, we also want to protect our weakest people."
The Interministerial Health conference will meet again to discuss a possible third dose for people over 85 years old still living at home, Beke's cabinet told The Brussels Times.