After the socialist parties spoke out in favour of mandatory vaccination in recent days, the Christian-Democrats CD&V also stated that a general obligation to be vaccinated should be introduced in Belgium.
Ahead of the Consultative Committee, the Flemish CD&V party became the latest in line to call for a generalised vaccination requirement across the country.
“For our party, it is clear: compulsory vaccination for everyone must be introduced,” said Flemish MP for CD&V Maaike De Rudder in Parliament and on Twitter. “Of course, the framework and conditions must be worked out. Let’s get on with it.”
Voor onze partij is het duidelijk: de verplichte vaccinatie voor iedereen moet er komen. Uiteraard moet het kader en de voorwaarden uitgewerkt worden. Laat ons er werk van maken.👊👊 pic.twitter.com/OMBN4JdO24
— Maaike De Rudder (@RudderMaaike) November 17, 2021
Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke, who is also a member of the CD&V party, reiterated that he does want to open the debate on compulsory vaccination, but that it is up to the Federal Government – not the Flemish one – to work out the rules on sanctions and enforceability.
The far-right opposition party Vlaams Belang is strongly against such a general obligation, with MP Stefaan Sintobin stating that “this corona dictatorship must stop,” as mandatory vaccination will “only lead to an even greater division in society.”
However, Beke contradicts the image of a “division,” saying that “if 92% of adults have been vaccinated, it is not appropriate to speak of a real divide.”
“I have less and less understanding for that 8%,” he added.
Other parties, such as the right-wing N-VA and the liberal Open VLD, stressed the importance of a fast roll-out of the third or booster vaccine doses, where Flanders is lagging behind other Regions in terms of percentages.
According to Beke, this is mainly due to the higher number of people over 65 years old in the Region, and Flanders’ higher vaccination coverage. “500,000 shots have already been administered, and 1.2 million are scheduled for the coming weeks.”
Mandatory vaccination, as well as the roll-out of a booster dose, are being discussed at the Consultative Committee this afternoon.
The meeting started at 2:30 PM, and will be followed by a press conference to announce the latest measures, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed to The Brussels Times.
An overview of all the measures that are expected to be on the table can be found here.