The Health Committee approved on Tuesday, in a second reading, by a majority vote against opposition, a bill establishing a duty to vaccinate caregivers against covid-19.
TVery controversial, this obligation to vaccinate caregivers will not go into effect for the time being. In an opinion released on Monday, the Vaccine Task Force ruled that this obligation is disproportionate in the current epidemiological context.
The bill originally set the date for July 1, but through amendments, the majority removed the date set for the commitment to take effect. This is to be issued by royal decree discussed in the Council of Ministers and must be motivated by established scientific opinion, in particular the Task Force on Vaccination and the High Council of Health.
“Under the current epidemiological conditions, mandatory vaccination of healthcare providers would not be in line with the principle of proportionality,” the Task Force said after consulting with the High Council of Health and the Risk Assessment Group (RAG). notice posted on Monday.
A new outbreak of a predictable epidemic
However, the Task Force clarifies that a new outbreak is predictable. In the event of a repeated deterioration of the epidemiological situation, the emergence of a new variant and / or a significant decrease in immunity, which implies an increase in the number of deaths and hospitalizations, the conclusion will be revised.
Health Minister Frank Vandenbroek pushed for a “flexible” approach, which was eventually adopted. “You have to be ready,” he stressed. “We are developing a legislative framework for when it should be implemented. Let’s hope that never happens.”
In the meantime, the opposition has maintained its objections to the text, in particular regarding the suspension of the visa that allows medical workers to work and the risk of layoffs they face as the sector faces a shortage of personnel.