Booster dose likely needed for valid CST soon, says health minister

Booster dose likely needed for valid CST soon, says health minister
Credit: Belga

A booster dose will soon become necessary to get a green light for the vaccination certificate in the Covid Safe Ticket (CST), assumes Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

The campaign for the booster shot started a while ago and it is progressing faster than initially anticipated, Vandenbroucke said in Parliamentary Committee on Health on Tuesday afternoon: the majority of adults in Belgium who have been fully vaccinated will have received an invitation for a booster.

“A great success, but still we are not quite where we need to be,” he said, adding that there is quite some “hesitation surrounding the booster dose,” meaning not everyone who received an invitation made an appointment.

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Still, Vandenbroucke said that he expects that getting the booster vaccine will be “decisive” in getting the green light for the CST, which “would not be illogical in the current context.”

“The impact of the first vaccines decreases after a few months. If the booster provides increased protection, then it is logical that the CST should also be adjusted accordingly,” he said, adding this decision will have to be taken at the European level.

In the meantime, Belgium is awaiting the Superior Health Council’s recommendations on the booster shot for children between 12 and 17 years old, something which has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

As of Tuesday 11 January, 57% of the adult population (46% of the entire population) in Belgium has received a booster dose, which corresponds to a total of 5,271,800 people, according to the latest data by the Sciensano national health institute.

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