European Court Rules Mandatory Vaccination for Children Doesn’t Violate Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday ruled that compulsory childhood vaccination in the Czech Republic does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights and could be regarded as being “necessary in a democratic society.” The Grand Chamber judgment, held by 16 votes to one, was on six complaints against the Czech government over its vaccination policy that mandates children to receive two vaccines—hexavalent and MMR—against nine diseases. One of the parents was fined for refusing to vaccinate his children. In the other cases, the children had been rejected from pre-schools after they hadn’t received one or both of the mandatory vaccinations for various reasons. The court said it recognized that compulsory vaccination does represent “an interference with physical integrity” and therefore concerns Article 8 (right to respect for private life) of the human rights convention. But the Czech policy, the ECHR said, “pursued the legitimate aims of protecting …

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