Although the Flanders Government has supported rolling out the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine to all Belgium citizens, on Saturday the Superior Health Council (CSS) judged that there was no scientific basis for such a measure, De Standaard reported on Saturday.
At present, a third “booster” dose is available to those aged 65 and over or those whose medical condition places them at a higher risk. It had been widely speculated that this measure would be extended to the Belgian population at large, with the Walloon Health Minister stating on Friday that she thought this “very likely”. In spite of this, there are currently no plans to introduce such a measure, Belga News Agency reports.
However, the CSS did support a third vaccine dose for healthcare workers and medical professionals in order to prevent the health service from being overwhelmed by the next wave of infections. “This autumn, healthcare professionals will have to deal both with Covid-19 patients and those who have other infectious respiratory illnesses such as seasonal flu,” a statement from the CSS read. “By reducing the risk of Covid-19 infections, a third dose would help keep the health system afloat.”
The CSS is also looking into whether those under 65 who have received AstraZeneca or Johnson&Johnson vaccines should have a booster shot. The various health ministers meet on Saturday to make decisions following the CSS recommendations.