Ultimately, of course, it is up to politicians to decide which strategy to pursue. Initially, there appeared to be significant consensus that priority should be given to effectively prioritizing patients under the age of 65. But there is now growing opposition to this, especially from the francophone side. For example, Brussels Minister Alain Marron of Ecolo, in charge of welfare, threw bats into the poultry house today by saying that age is the only absolute criterion in a pollination strategy. He sent a message about this to fellow health ministers of other governments. Maroun is especially afraid of legal problems if these basic conditions are taken into account in the selection. It refers to discussions of privacy violations when a physician transfers data from a patient’s central medical file to other authorities.
In the Flemish Parliament, Welfare Minister Becky has reacted somewhat sharply to this. “I don’t think we should give up yet,” Beck said. “If we had a discussion about when we could relax, hospitalization would be the most important factor. Specifically, people with chronic diseases would occupy most of the beds in intensive care.” But while CD & V and N-VA continue to defend this line, Open VLD, the coalition partner in the Flemish government, is already showing reservations against this priority regulation.
In short, priority for high-risk patients or simply a matter of age, the discussion has not yet been settled. The Vaccination Task Force will meet again tomorrow, but it will also be a difficult political debate. And time is running out.