Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is considering mandatory vaccination, he told the newspaper De Zondag in an interview published over the Christmas weekend.
The French-speaking socialists, who are part of De Croo’s government, had previously asked for mandatory vaccination in Belgium, but De Croo called such a step “political laziness.”
In a seeming change of heart, Belgium’s liberal prime minister said the situation on intensive care units was now making him reconsider. “The impact of a relatively small group on our healthcare is too big. We can not allow that to happen. Keynes, a British economist, once said: ‘When the facts change, I change my mind.’ Good arguments can convince me.”
“The goal is clear: we must vaccinate everyone. If the path of mandatory vaccination can help, then I would like to consider it. Mind you: A government cannot decide that by itself. That debate must happen in parliament,” he said.
On Sunday, the number of COVID-19 patients in Belgian hospitals dropped below 2,000 for the first time since the beginning of November, according to a press release from the national public health institute Sciensano. But authorities expect this number to rise again because of the Omicron variant.