Vulnerable French and Belgians can Go for A Third Shot

Retirement homes across France started administering a third dose of the corona vaccine to their residents on Monday. The campaign to boost the resistance of vulnerable people to the virus has officially started. The administration of an extra injection is also getting underway in Belgium.


France was one of the first European countries to decide to use the so-called boosters. But, unfortunately, the first French have had their second shot so long ago, or in the case of the Janssen vaccine, their only one, that protection has probably diminished.

Vaccinated Belgians with less resistance to the coronavirus can also apply for an extra shot. The first invitations have been sent. In recent weeks, doctors have already administered the third dose here and there to patients who already came to their doctor’s office.

For the time being, Belgium is aiming for a much smaller group than France. Belgium emphasizes, for example, people with an autoimmune disease or cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy and therefore have a weakened immune system. France also calls on healthy elderly people.

There is a heated debate about booster vaccines. Not only are their usefulness still in doubt, but they would also come at the expense of vaccinating poorer parts of the world where vaccination has barely begun. Thus new virus variants can easily emerge. Belgium does not want to call the extra shot a booster but insists that vulnerable people need an extra shot for their basic vaccination.

The caretaker cabinet will consider a third corona jab in the Netherlands later this week. Last week, the European regulator ruled that a booster should be considered for people with severely weakened immune systems. However, researchers from Amsterdam UMC concluded last weekend that the corona vaccine often offers patients with an autoimmune disease good protection.

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