Buenos AiresWhile almost a year after the start of the corona pandemic, millions of people around the world are excited for a vaccine, some critics are already afraid that vaccination will be mandatory. Like few other medical topics, vaccines repeatedly cause controversy, in certain circles vaccinations are considered unnecessary at best and dangerous at worst. At the demonstrations against the Corona measures in Germany, there have been repeated rhetoric against vaccinations.
The federal government has already clearly rejected a vaccination obligation several times. “I give you my word: There will be no compulsory vaccination in this pandemic,” said Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) in the Bundestag – expressly in the direction of other claims.
It is true that the Federal Ministry of Health is empowered in the recently passed Infection Protection Act to oblige particularly endangered sections of the population to be vaccinated under certain conditions by means of an ordinance with the consent of the Federal Council. However, experts do not assume that this will happen.
USA and Australia
In the USA, a mandatory corona vaccination with an approved agent is not excluded. Such a decision would not be taken nationwide, but per state. In early November, the New York Bar Association passed a resolution recommending compulsory vaccination in the event that not enough people volunteered to be vaccinated.
Such a measure could be emphasized by the fact that unvaccinated people are not allowed to go to bars or restaurants, for example. According to experts, employers can also have their employees vaccinated as long as they have a legitimate reason to do so.
In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed in August that he wanted all citizens to be vaccinated as soon as a vaccine was available. The national airline Qantas wants to introduce compulsory vaccinations for its passengers, at least on intercontinental flights. As soon as a vaccine is available, the airline’s terms and conditions will be adjusted accordingly, said Qantas boss Alan Joyce.
Partial vaccination is conceivable in Switzerland. “Depending on the situation, it can make sense in special situations,” said the head of the Federal Office of Public Health, Anne Lévy, most recently in “Sonntagsblick”. What is meant, however, is at most the compulsory vaccination for certain groups, as health lawyer Franziska Sprecher from the University of Bern told the SRF broadcaster: “Compulsory vaccinations are possible according to the applicable law. However, only for specific groups such as people who deal with vulnerable groups, especially health workers. “
Most other European countries, on the other hand, rely on voluntarism. “I will not make vaccination mandatory,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in a televised address this week. The vaccinations against the coronavirus in Spain should be voluntary, free of charge and initially reserved for risk groups, as stated in the government’s vaccination plan. In the Czech Republic, too, the national vaccination strategy stipulates that participation in immunization will be voluntary. Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a television interview with LA7 that he favored a voluntary decision.
According to a study by McGill University in Canada, around half of all countries around the world have mandatory vaccination programs for at least one disease. In 62 states, there is some type of punishment for people who refuse to be vaccinated – it can range from teaching to fines to imprisonment. “Immunization programs are the most cost-effective and successful tool in public health. High vaccination coverage on a global scale is particularly important in a pandemic, ”said the study’s lead author, Katie Gravagna.
Argentina and Brazil
In Argentina, for example, there is a compulsory vaccination against a whole range of diseases such as the usual childhood diseases, hepatitis A and B, rotaviruses, diphtheria, tetanus and yellow fever. These vaccinations are on the national vaccination calendar and are therefore free and mandatory. For example, children cannot start school without a vaccination certificate. The vaccination against the coronavirus should initially not be mandatory. However, it could still be added to the mandatory vaccination calendar later, when the new vaccines have proven to be effective and safe.
Numerous vaccinations are also mandatory in Brazil. However, there are great reservations, especially among supporters of the right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, against any kind of corona measures. When São Paulo’s governor João Doria recently brought up compulsory vaccination against the corona virus, protests broke out. A banner read: “We are not guinea pigs.”