According to a historic ruling issued today, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) accepted the Czech Republic’s position on compulsory vaccination of children. The ruling rejected a lawsuit filed by parents for violating parental rights.
This is the first judgment in a lawsuit filed by the European Court of Human Rights against compulsory vaccination of children with childhood diseases, and therefore cannot be appealed.
ECtHR’s decision is based on litigation filed before the covida-19 pandemic from 2013 to 2015, but if there is a debate on vaccination of children against infectious diseases that cause a global pandemic, these rulings can be updated.
Czech families appealed to the European Court of Human Rights against the national court’s decision because their children must be vaccinated to enter the primary school preparatory class. If they refuse to vaccinate their children against childhood diseases, they will be fined.
The European Court of Human Rights pointed out in its ruling that it did not violate the European Convention on Human Rights.
The European Court of Human Rights stated: “The court held that the measures complained by prosecutors have been evaluated nationwide, and these measures are in balance with the Czech state’s goal of preventing diseases that pose a major threat to human health.”
According to Czech law, unless there is a reasonable medical basis, children must be vaccinated against 9 common diseases, such as polio (poliomyelitis), hepatitis B, tetanus, measles, and whooping cough.
The Czech authorities pursue “legal health goals and rights, stipulating that vaccination can protect both the vaccinated people and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons” and rely on collective immunization.
ECtHR stated that the Czech authorities “seek to achieve the legitimate goal of protecting the health and rights of others”. It added: “Therefore, the Czech health policy is in the best interests of children.”
According to the Strasbourg court, the fine imposed on the plaintiff is not high.
He estimated that denying children to pre-primary classes “is more a preventive measure than a punitive measure.”
The ruling “reinforces the possibility of mandatory vaccination in the current covida-19 pandemic,” Nicolas Hervieu, a legal expert specializing in ECtHR, told AFP.
The ruling supports “the principle of social solidarity, which can prove that compulsory vaccination is mandatory for all people, even those at a lower risk of disease, in order to protect the most vulnerable groups,” Helviu added.
The need to gain collective immunity to fight the covida-19 pandemic has sparked a debate about the need for mandatory vaccination when vaccines are suspected to be rampant.