Anti-vax Belgian local councillor resigns over CST

Anti-vax Belgian local councillor resigns over CST
Credit: Belga

A local councillor for Ittre in Wallonia has resigned from the Ecolo party over the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST), saying it promotes vaccination, which he does not support.

The councillor, Luc Schoukens, gave his resignation at the Ittre town council meeting on Tuesday and published a full statement on Facebook disclosing the reason behind his resignation on Wednesday.

“I cannot support a measure that seeks above all to promote or even impose vaccination,” Schoukens said, claiming that the Covid-19 vaccines were not only ineffective but also caused “harmful side effects” and “even death.”

His claims are not backed by science, as research has shown that vaccinated people are 14 times less likely to end up in intensive care if they contract coronavirus, proving vaccine efficacy. Likewise, a vaccine is only approved for market use if its quality, effectiveness and safety have been satisfactorily proven.

“That is why clinical studies are so important,” Belgium's Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment (FPS) said in its official statements regarding Covid-19 vaccination.

“In the last phase, the vaccine is tested on large groups of people, often tens of thousands. For the coronavirus vaccines, the numbers have been even greater: between 20,000 and 60,000 people, of whom half have received the candidate vaccine and half a placebo.”

Such studies allow medical professionals to check for side effects. Because most side effects can be seen within six weeks of vaccination, these are usually picked up during clinical trials.

“The chance of serious side effects from a vaccine that has been approved is small; however, we can never rule it out altogether,” the FPS reports.

“This is true not only for Covid-19 vaccines but all vaccines and medicines. That is why we keep an eye on vaccines after they have been approved. A special monitoring system has been set up to monitor the safety of Covid-19 vaccines, which will allow us to intervene quickly where necessary.”

But in a statement that also denounced “big pharma,” Schoukens claimed that making the CST mandatory in certain places or situations, “promotes and imposes a health system based on the addition of chemical elements, the short- and medium-term effect of which is far from known and which could bring a series of disturbances and even disastrous effects on human health.”

A valid CST proves that an individual has been fully vaccinated, recently tested negative or recovered from the virus in the past six months, and is needed across Belgium to gain access to bars, restaurants and gyms.

Covid-19 vaccines have been developed in accordance with the same legal requirements around pharmaceutical quality, safety and efficacy as all other medications.

Schoukens, who is not a medical professional, said in his statement that “we should rather focus on promoting natural immunity, built up through a healthy diet, a protected environment, a balanced life, and natural food supplements…”

Schoukens holds a director position at a Belgian co-op that sells natural food supplements.

“My conscience, my will to remain coherent, means that I cannot continue to support the implementation of an inefficient and imposed health system, a system of human control,” he said.

Schoukens is not forfeiting his seat on the local council but instead continuing under a different party.

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