ECHR rules obligatory vaccination may be necessary

The ruling is the first time the European Court of Human Rights has weighed in on the issue of compulsory vaccinations. The ruling could play a role in efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg ruled Thursday that compulsory vaccinations would not contravene human rights law and may be necessary in democratic societies.

The ruling came following conclusion of a complaint brought to the court by Czech families regarding compulsory jabs for children.

“The measures could be regarded as being ‘necessary in a democratic society,'” the court judgment read.

Although the ruling did not deal directly with COVID-19 vaccines, experts believe it could have implications for the vaccination drive against the virus, especially for those who have so far stated a refusal to accept the jab.

This judgment “reinforces the possibility of a compulsory vaccination under conditions of the current COVID-19 epidemic,” Nicolas Hervieu, a legal expert specializing in the ECHR, told AFP news agency.

What was the court ruling about?

The decision said that the compulsory vaccines administered by Czech health authorities were in line with the “best interests” of children.

“The objective has to be that every child is protected against serious diseases, through vaccination or by virtue of herd immunity,” it added.

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