BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – The booster campaign is starting to sputter, now that almost all corona measures have been lifted. The disappearance of the CST in particular means that fewer people see the benefit of having a booster shot. “And yet they definitely benefit from it, because that booster vaccine makes their basic immunity sufficiently strong,” said Dirk Ramaekers, head of the Vaccination Taskforce, during the weekly press briefing.
In Belgium, about 9,101,883 people are currently fully vaccinated, that is 79 percent of the population. Out of these, some 7,058,787 people or 61 percent of them also had a booster shot. “Indeed, the booster does not yet achieve the same percentages as the primary vaccination. What is certainly bothering us is the lifting of the corona measures and especially the discontinuation of the use of the CST, now that we have ended up in code yellow,” says Ramaekers.
As a result, the booster campaign receives less acclaim in its final phase. Yet the fact is that the booster dose remains crucial to make our basic immunity sufficiently strong, because the pandemic is not over yet. “In people who are not fully vaccinated, the risk of serious illness increases with infection. That is why we continue to promote that people absolutely benefit from the booster dose of the vaccine, even though we are now in code yellow,” said Ramaekers.
Second booster shot
While the first booster campaign is still running, some countries such as Israel are already administering a second booster shot. In Belgium, the next booster campaign will probably only come into being from September this year, with residential care centres and the over-75s as target groups. The second booster is then offered to healthcare providers and the elderly, those with a weak immune system, or people with underlying conditions, at the same time as the flu vaccination.