Tuesday, April 20, 2021

ECHR Ruling on Mandatory Childhood Vaccinations

In Czechland, there are obligatory vaccinations for nine diseases - whooping cough, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type b (Hip), measles, mumps, and rubella.  This is laid down in Act no. 258/2000 Coll., on Public Health Protection.  Those that don't comply with the vaccine schedule may be fined up to 10.000 Kč ($464).  

No one here can be forcibly vaccinated against their will.  But there are other implications.  Children under five years of age can not attend public kindergarten (preschool) if they have not been fully vaccinated.  A kindergarten that admits an unvaccinated child can be fined up to 500.000 Kč ($23,200).  

From age five, unvaccinated children can attend kindergarten because this preschool year is part of the country's compulsory education.  While unvaccinated children can attend school they are not allowed to take part in school trips, camps, etc.  If an unvaccinated child participates in a school trip or camp then the organiser can be fined up to 30.000 Kč ($1,392).   

Vaccines are free as they are covered by the state.

The European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, France, is connected with the Council of Europe with 47 member countries.  The court rules on complaints filed against member counties with regards to their obligations under the 1953 European Convention on Human Rights.  

A couple of weeks ago the European Court of Human Rights ruled on the case of Vavřička and Others v. the Czech Republic.  The primary case was a Czech who refused to have his son and daughter vaccinated against polio, hepatitis B, and tetanus.  The father was fined.  Then there were four other cases where children were not allowed to enter kindergarten because they were not vaccinated.  All of these cases were submitted before the pandemic so this has nothing to do with Covid-19.    

The court ruled 16-1 that the Czech Republic is within its rights to require compulsory vaccination of preschool children and that it did not violate and human rights rules.  The judgement is final and can not be appealed.  This is the first time that the court has ever ruled on this issue.

Here's a 15-minute video I found out on YouTube that talks about the court and what it does.

©European Court of Human Rights

Other countries have vaccinate rules as well.  Italy saw a surge of measles cases so in 2019 a law was passed that without proof of vaccination children up to the age of six are excluded from preschool and kindergarten.  Parents who send their unvaccinated children to school can be fined up to €500 ($593).

Germany passed a law in 2020 that requires parents to vaccinate their children against the measles.  Parents can be fined up to €2500 ($2,970) for failing to comply.  

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