Belgian residents who refused their vaccination invite the first time will still be able to get vaccinated, but they will not be actively approached by the authorities, according to Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon.
“Those who have refused the vaccine will have to take the first step to get a second chance themselves,” he said in the Flemish parliament on Tuesday.
“We are limited in this respect by the privacy regulations, which do not allow us to actively approach these people,” Jambon added.
People who did not respond to their first invitation, however, will receive a new letter, according to him. “But those who have pushed the reject button in the online application will be left alone.”
Those who refused vaccination the first time, however, will “certainly” still get the chance to be vaccinated if they change their minds, according to Dirk Ramaekers of the Vaccination Taskforce.
“Once we have given everyone a first chance to be vaccinated, we will also make sure that everyone who changed their mind and still wants to be vaccinated can come forward,” he said on Flemish radio last week.
That does mean, however, that they will only get their turn at the very end of campaign, no matter their age category, according to Ramaekers.
Asked in parliament if people who initially refused vaccination amid growing concerns about blood clots would have the option to choose another vaccine in the future, Jambon clarified that they will not be allowed to choose.
“It remains an important part of the vaccination campaign not to allow ‘vaccine shopping’,” he added.
Over the past few months, the Vaccination Taskforce stated several times that choosing which vaccine you get is not the intention in Belgium’s rollout, stressing that the type of vaccine someone gets is “fixed in advance.”