European Court of Human Rights / Screenshot by NPR
European countries can require childhood immunizations, according to law, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday. The decision includes vaccinations for preschoolers. But it could hurt the EU’s fight to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mandatory vaccination can be seen as “Necessary in a democratic society,” the Strasbourg court said in the ruling, which had 16-1 votes.
A Czech man has challenged his country’s child vaccine requirements after being fined for refusing to have his son and daughter vaccinated against tetanus, hepatitis B and polio.Plaintiff Pavel Vavricka said the law violates the family’s right to use. Personal life Five other families similarly filed lawsuits after their children were denied attending preschools or nurseries.
The Human Rights Court agreed that vaccine obligations were an individual’s burden. But added that social benefits outweigh the burden.
Czech law requires children to receive a combination of two vaccines to protect against various diseases, according to Czech television.
Calling the vaccine “The most successful and cost-effective health intervention” is known to medical practice, the court noted that herd immunity dynamics make high rates of vaccination important.
The court said the inability of some children to be vaccinated for medical reasons prevented access to the vaccine. “Very high vaccination rates” to protect against infectious diseases are increasingly important.
Thursday’s ruling was the first time a European court of rights ruled on compulsory vaccination, according to Deutsche Welle and other European media.
In addition to the privacy ruling, the court rejected arguments by many plaintiffs that the EU’s guarantee of freedom of religion and belief defended their stance on vaccines.
According to the verdict, the plaintiff failed to prove his opinion on the vaccine. “There is sufficient consistency, seriousness, unity and importance to form a conviction or belief” under the protection of Article 9 of the European Constitution.
All Czech cases were filed years before the COVID-19 outbreak, but trials took place in many countries, both in Europe and around the world, looking for ways to ensure their populations are vaccinated in the United States. High level Many of these efforts are continuing to combat suspicion arising from misinformation and concerns that vaccine development may be in a rush.
Most of the U.S. population is reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine: 1 in 4 Americans said they would immediately reject vaccination, according to a recent NPR / Marist survey.