New vaccines, hiked bank fees and more: What changes on 1 September?
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New vaccines, hiked bank fees and more: What changes on 1 September?

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New regulations come into force across Belgium from 1 September, including the arrival of new vaccines in Brussels and Wallonia, tighter regulations on ritual slaughter and a hike in the fees of some Belgian banks.

Vaccines

The Birth and Childhood Office (ONE) approved four new vaccines meant to replace old ones in the vaccination program of the Brussels-Wallonia Federation.

The changes made concern mainly the producing pharmaceutical firm, and “most of the vaccines remain the unchanged,” according to Le Soir.

The vaccine information website published a list of the new vaccines, which target or prevent diseases like polio, cervical cancer, tetanus or bacterial lung infections, among others.

Additionally, a vaccine against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) will be made freely available to boys between the ages of 13 and 14, extending the free access to it which was previously reserved to girls.

The vaccines (which prevent infections of some strains of HPV which can lead to different types of cancer, including of the cervix as well as of the mouth and reproductive organs) will be freely available to all children between the ages of 13 and 14 in specialised education or enrolled in certain secondary grades, known as “première différenciée” and “deuxième secondaire” in French.

Electric bike allowances

Teachers who ride into work on an electric bike will be eligible to an allowance, after a decree on the allowances for transport fees was amended to include the e-bikes in the Brussels-Wallonia Federation.

The new regulation will se teacher compensated by €0.15 for every kilometre biked on the way to work as of September 1, 2019.

Ritual animal slaughter

A ban on the non-stunned slaughter of animals for religious purpose will enter into force in Wallonia from September, following a ban on the religious practice implemented in Flanders at the start of the year.

The Walloon region’s measure comes as animal rights groups pressure the regional government in Brussels to follow in the footsteps of its regional counterparts, which have faced resistance from several Jewish and Muslim organisations.

E-scooters, hoverboards and unicycles

Workers will be able to use their EcoChèques, a voucher included in some salary packages, to buy electric or conventional scooters, electric unicycles or hoverboards.

After train rides, organic food products and energy-efficient appliances, the so-called smart mobility units are the most recent additions to the list of what workers are allowed to buy with their vouchers, which are meant to encourage them to buy eco-friendly products.

Bank fee hikes

Monthly fees for KBC and CBC banks’ Compte Plus will be increased to €2,5 from the current €2. Almost 80% of KBC’s clients and 90% of CBC’s have subscribed to this product.

The monthly fee linked to their “compte à vue” transaction accounts will be also raised, going from €1.25 to €1.75 at KBC and from €1 to €1.75 at CBC.

New travel pass released by Walloon transport operator

The TEC Walloon transport company will issue a new type of travel pass for commuters between the ages of 12 and 24. The new travel pass will be valid for four months and prices will range from €44 to €93.50, with discounted prices available for some users.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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