The European Court of Human Rights ruled that mandatory vaccines for children are not in violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Czech Republic’s health policy. Long-term residents are required to receive annual vaccines covered by public health insurance under the scheme, which is mandated by section 46 of the Public Health Protection Act. Unvaccinated children can be exempt from pre-schools, according to Section 50 of the Act.
This case stems from a review of grievances filed by a number of parents between 2013 and 2015. The parents had been fined by the government for failing to vaccinate their children, and some of the children had been barred from attending school until they received the required vaccines. As a consequence of the fines, the parents filed individual lawsuits with the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that the mandatory vaccine violated their right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Court decided that the mandatory law is appropriate for a democratic society because vaccinations meet a “pressing social need,” and that it is justified as long as it is “important and adequate” and proportionate to a valid goal. In terms of the goal, the court went on to say that, the related legislation’s aim is to protect against diseases that may pose a significant health danger. This applies to both those who obtain the vaccines in question and those who are unable to be vaccinated and are therefore vulnerable, depending on a high standard of vaccination among society as a whole to protect them from the infectious diseases in question. Article 8 recognises the goals of health security and the protection of others’ interests, and this goal corresponds to them.
Although the decision does not say if the concepts can be extended to Covid-19 vaccinations, ECHR legal expert Nicholas Hervieu believes the decision has raised the possibility of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations.