Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open Vld ) said he doubts a majority will emerge in favour of mandatory vaccination in Belgium.
Flemish Liberals are in the majority and are overall opposed to such a measure, he explained when speaking to the LN24 news programme on Friday.
“Our party is a party of freedom. When we talk about the Omicron variant, for example, we see that it is less deadly than others. Is it proportional to force people to be vaccinated?” Van Quickenborne said. “If we review the vaccines every six months, are we going to force people to get vaccinated every six months?”
The House Health Committee will start hearings on compulsory vaccination and the vaccine pass next week, with a plenary debate expected before the carnival break (28 February).
A sensitive subject with dwindling support
There is a long list of individuals, organisations, and institutions who wish to make their position on the sensitive topic clear. Van Quickenborne said the political world is divided on the issue: “I don’t think there will be a majority for compulsory vaccination in parliament.”
The same appears to be true for the Belgian population, according to the latest survey results for the Corona Motivation Barometer.
Barely half (51%) of those surveyed were in favour of making vaccination mandatory, down from 60% in previous surveys. Even 31% of vaccinated people are rejecting the idea, up from 16% in August last year.