On Wednesday, Belgium's different Health Ministers decided that the country's general population will receive a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine next year.
The Interministerial Conference (IMC) on Health commissioned a plan for a generalised booster vaccination campaign for all Belgian residents under 65 years old, it announced in a press release on Wednesday.
"We have to prepare to give everyone an extra shot in 2022," Health Minister Wouter Beke confirmed to VRT. "The virus is not gone. It is still there and it is more contagious. Vaccinations help against that."
Without the vaccines, the pandemic would be a "totally hopeless situation," he added. "But two vaccines are not enough, which is why the third shot is so important."
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Over the next two weeks, the Superior Health Council and the Vaccination Taskforce will further elaborate on the scientific basis for a booster for everyone and to prepare various scenarios.
These scenarios will have to show how and when which groups of people will receive their booster dose. The entire plan for this campaign will then be discussed by the IMC on 27 November, as Beke announced earlier on Wednesday.
So far, most people in Belgium with a weakened immune system have already received a booster vaccination dose, regardless of which vaccine was initially administered, and all fully vaccinated over-65s and healthcare professionals are now being invited for a booster vaccine as well.
In the meantime, the IMC already decided that all those initially vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, including those under 65, will receive an extra Pfizer or Moderna shot starting from mid-December.