Occupational physicians will soon be able to find out the vaccination rate of employees in companies with more than 50 staff. This is due to a tool currently being developed, which will cross-reference information from the National Social Security Office (NSSO) and Vaccinet, the database on vaccination status. According to the newspaper Le Soir, the employers’ organizations requested access to information on the percentage of vaccinated employees so that they could adapt their workplace health measures. Belgium’s inter-governmental working group in charge of the vaccination strategy (the vaccination task force), and which is developing the legal framework by the end of September confirmed the newspaper report. Given that this information is subject to medical secrecy and that employers cannot ask for the vaccination status of their employees (except for professions where vaccination has been made legally compulsory), the NSSO assures that the data will be made anonymous. The project is awaiting authorization from the Information Security Committee. Only the External Service for Prevention and Protection at Work will be authorized to consult the information. Trade unions say they are very careful about data protection, as well as about other uses of the data that could be made employers. “We would not want this to be used as a pretext for sending vaccination buses over to companies. It would then be difficult to guarantee the anonymous and voluntary nature of the vaccination,” notes Stijn Gryp, of the Flemish trade union ACV, in the newspaper L’Avenir.
Belgium: a tool that can provide a company’s staff vaccination rate on an anonymous basis
Planet Labor, 21 September 2021, n°12688 - www.planetlabor.com