The daily reports that in half of all private sector care homes in the capital and Wallonia staff do not want to be vaccinated against coronavirus. The umbrella organisation representing private sector care homes, Femabel, now says care home workers should be obliged to get the jab. “Otherwise we will never achieve group immunity” notes Femabel director Vincent Frédéricq.
“For me it’s clear: if one isn’t convinced and one isn’t smart enough to protect oneself, then it should be made mandatory.”
Mr Frédéricq blames ‘misleading information’ that is doing the rounds.
The very different response in Francophonia is being linked to disinformation from antivaxers as well as influence from the vaccination culture in France.
You will recall when the first Walloon care home resident was vaccinated her family and care home workers at her care home were trolled on social media.
In Francophone Belgium antivaxers are no marginal phenomenon. Vincent Frédéricq told VRT: “People often believes fake news; especially older workers are not always well equipped to deal with disinformation on social media.”
Inge Neven of the Brussels health inspection adds: “An awful lot is circulating on the internet, also in different groups in the population. Brussels is an international city and all these groups have their own Facebook groups, sometimes with false information.”
“There is less of a vaccination culture in Francophone Belgium, just like in France, where there is also less willingness to get the flu jab.”
In Flanders care home chiefs dialog with staff unwilling to get the jab and this has clearly had a result.