The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg ruled on Thursday that mandatory vaccinations would not violate human rights law – and may be necessary in democratic societies.
The decision came following the assessment of a complaint lodged in court by Czech families regarding compulsory injections for children.
“The measures could be considered” necessary in a democratic society “”, one reads in the judgment of the court.
While the decision does not directly address COVID-19 vaccines, experts believe it could have implications for the vaccine campaign against the virus, especially for those who have so far declared their refusal to accept the vaccine. .
This judgment “reinforces the possibility of compulsory vaccination under the conditions of the current COVID-19 epidemic,” Nicolas Hervieu, a lawyer specializing in the ECHR, told the TBEN news agency.
What was the court decision about?
The decision said the compulsory vaccines administered by Czech health authorities were in the “best interests” of children.
“The goal must be that every child is protected against serious diseases, through vaccination or through herd immunity,” he added.
The court ruled that the Czech health policy did not violate Article 8 on the right to respect for private life in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights.
According to Czech law, children must be vaccinated against nine diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and measles.
The case was brought to court by families who had been fined or whose children had been denied access to a crèche for failing to comply with their legal vaccination obligation.
A precedent for COVID-19 vaccination campaigns
Countries in Europe have seen a wave of disinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic. This has led people to be skeptical not only of the coronavirus itself, but also of COVID-19 vaccines.
Anti-vaxxers – people who refuse to receive vaccines or to vaccinate their children – have been spreading various conspiracy theories about why governments want to vaccinate their populations.
As a result, governments can grapple with large segments of society who refuse to be vaccinated, making the goal of herd immunity even more difficult.
While the ECHR ruling may have set a precedent that mandatory vaccinations do not violate the European Convention on Human Rights, it does not mean that European countries will force people to get vaccinated.
ab / aw (EPD, TBEN)