Compulsory vaccination is possible, but “why would you want that?”

According to Martin Buijsen, Professor of Health Law at Erasmus School of Law, there is legal ground to implement compulsory vaccination against the coronavirus in The Netherlands. However, in an interview with het Nederlands Dagblad Buijsen explains why he does not expect that this will actually happen in the Netherlands as he does not see a reason why it should.

The Dutch and European legal system offers possibilities for compulsory vaccination, despite the infringement of the right to private life and bodily integrity, states Buijsen: “These rights can be limited, but that has to be done by law. In addition, there must be a legitimate goal and it must be necessary and proportional. Public health is an acknowledged as a legitimate goal.”

Many European countries, like Italy and France, already have a compulsory vaccination programmes for diseases like measles and pertussis, but the Netherlands does not. That is no problem, however, explains Buijsen: “Over ninety per cent of [Dutch] parents vaccinate their kids against the twelve infectious diseases. This percentage puts the Netherlands at the top in Europe.”

 Unnecessary in the Netherlands

“We see countries that know a tradition of compulsory vaccination, like Italy and France, are also the countries that make vaccination against Covid-19 obligatory”, states Buijsen. The means for such an obligation exist in the Netherlands as well, but the Professor of Health Law of the Erasmus University Rotterdam does not see any reason to implement such a measure: “Why would you want that? A hundred percent vaccination rate is of course best, but the Dutch people are already highly vaccinated against the coronavirus compared to the inhabitants of other countries. Over 85 percent of [Dutch] adults has had two vaccinations.”

More information

Read the entire interview in het Nederlands Dagblad here (in Dutch).

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