It has officially been approved that a debate about a possible vaccination obligation will be held in the Health Committee soon, confirmed Federal MP of the Green party Wouter De Vriendt.
The different political groups can now pass on the names of the various experts they wish to hear on the subject. The full list should be finalised next week, so the House Committee can start the hearings.
In the Chamber on Wednesday, De Vriendt argued for a “strict timing” of the hearings, with “a balance between rich debate and the coronavirus urgency that is still there.”
According to De Vriendt, the Chamber is aiming for the carnival break, which starts on Saturday 26 February. “Our perspective has always been that you cannot treat an obligation lightly, whatever the public health arguments.”
“A wide range of opinions and arguments should be able to be expressed. A debate can help to grow closer together and can create an understanding of other people’s points of view and sensitivities, rather than a permanent boxing match,” he added.
Based on the discussions held at the debate, a legislative initiative could follow. “It is not just about the medical aspect, but certainly also about the legal aspect. If you want to decide something like that, you need to have support and you need to have heard from all corners of society,” said group leader of the socialist party in the Chamber, Melissa Depraetere.
The question of whether or not the coronavirus vaccine should be made compulsory for the general adult population has been going on for months, with psychologists now also coming out in favour of an obligation.
“At the moment, everyone who is susceptible to scientific arguments has already been vaccinated,” Vera Hoorens, professor of social psychology and member of the task force Psychology and Corona, told VRT.
At the end of last month, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo moved the discussion to the Corona Commissioner’s office, which has been investigating how the vaccination level can be further increased since then. An obligation is one of the options.