The Vatican orders vaccination compulsory

Photo: EPA Pope Francis.

The Vatican has made vaccinations almost compulsory with any Holy See employee who refuses to get a coronavirus shot without valid medical reason risks being fired, AP reported.

According to a decree, signed last week by the governor of the Vatican City State, Vatican employees who opt out without a proven medical need risk sanctions including “the interruption of the relationship of employment.” The move, however, sparked heated debate, since its provisions go well beyond the generally so far voluntary nature of Covid-19 vaccinations in Italy and much of the rest of the world.

The decree cited the need to protect Vatican employees in the workplace, as well as guidelines issued by Pope Francis’ own Covid-19 commission of advisers who said there was a moral responsibility to vaccinate yourself “given that refusing a vaccine can constitute a risk for others.”

The Vatican, which has around 5,000 employees, is on its way to becoming perhaps the first country to complete its adult vaccination campaign, after the Holy See’s health service began inoculating staff and their families in early January with Pfizer shots. The Pope himself has received his second dose.

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