Belgians do start with Janssen booster

Demissionary Minister Hugo de Jonge of Health, Welfare and Sport has asked the Health Council whether people who have been vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine should get a booster shot accelerated. In other countries, they have already started this. For example, in Belgium, there they decided today to start with a Janssen booster.

Wouter Beke, the Minister of Health in Flanders, is clear about the consideration in Nieuwsuur: โ€œWe note that the people who have had the Janssen vaccine, which reduces its immunity. Whoever had this vaccine also had only one vaccine. That while people with AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna have had two vaccines. That does lead us to decide to give additional booster vaccine.โ€

The Belgian High Health Council advised the government to offer Belgians vaccinated with Janssens vaccine a repeat pry with Pfizer of Moderna. The official advice of the High Health Council has not yet been published, but a spokesperson confirms to Nieuwsuur that the advice given is now being adopted.

โ€œScientific medical evidenceโ€

According to the experts of the High Health Council, the protection of one dose of the Janssen vaccine is rapidly decreasing and, over time, it no longer provides sufficient protection against the coronavirus. A month ago, the US drug regulator FDA decided unanimously that there should be a booster shot with the Janssen vaccine. People over 18 years of age are eligible for such a shot, at least two months after their vaccination.

Minister Beke: โ€œThere are also several other countries that have already made this decision. So I think there is a lot of scientific medical evidence to do this anyway.โ€ All Belgians who have been vaccinated with Janssen can already be vaccinated again in mid-December, says the minister.

European policy

In Belgium, as in France, Germany and Spain, they have already started providing boosters to vulnerable groups before. โ€œWe already started in September to give patients with severe immunity problems a third shot, we decided in October to give people in the residential care centers a third jab and now the healthcare staff,โ€ says Beke. The ministers of health in Belgium have now also decided in principle that everyone will receive a repeat prerequisite in the long term.

Beke sees that the booster policy is not the same in all countries as a missed opportunity. โ€œOverall, I think it is a missed opportunity for Europe not to come to a common vaccination strategy.โ€ Beke mentions the situation early this year as an example. When it was about whether or not to use the AstraZeneca vaccine and about who should get it. He sees the same mechanism with the boosters โ€œI see that Member States are making all sorts of separate decisions for this, and that is, in my opinion, a missed opportunity for Europe.โ€