This is a judgement likely to get itself talked about a lot. This April 8, 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has considered that compulsory vaccinations were “necessary in a democratic society”. This decision follows as the Court has been referred to by Czech families whose children had been denied by nursery schools because they were not vaccinated against nine diseases (diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis…).
According to the judgment of the supreme instance, the Grand Chamber, the ECHR considers obligation to vaccinate is not in violation with the right to respect for private life in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights.
The vaccination policy “pursued the legitimate aims of protecting health as well as the rights of others, noting that vaccination protects both those who receive it and also those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons”, the judgment endorses.
According to the ECHR Grand Chamber, the Czech Republic a enjoys a “wide “margin of appreciation” […] in this context”. Although “the child applicants’ non-admission to preschool had meant the loss of an important opportunity to develop their personalities”, it “was a preventive rather than a punitive measure, and had been limited in time”, the ECHR claims.
So, could this judgment lead some European countries to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory? According to Nicolas Hervieu, a legal expert specializing in the ECHR interviewed by Agence France-Presse: “This judgment reinforces the possibility of a compulsory vaccination under conditions of the current COVID-19 epidemic”.