The topic of vaccination has sparked controversies, debates, and even quarrels since it has first surfaced. Currently, the general standpoint is that it is beneficial and can help the recovery of our pre-covid lives. Now, there are a group of Hungarian physicians who think that making the coronavirus vaccination mandatory is the way to go.
Since the Hungarian vaccination program has reached 4 million inoculated, the country has had a major easing of restrictions. Not only the terraces, but the interior of restaurants could open, as well as hotels, zoos, wildlife parks, baths, museums, cinemas, theatres, gyms, and many more, as well as the curfew being pushed to midnight. However, there is one catch. As of yet, only those people who have their immunity certificate can enter such facilities. This has essentially divided the people, even though it would have been the Hungarian government’s tactic to motivate people to register for the vaccination.
Many people do not trust the vaccine, or just simply think that they would not like to get it. Still, in order to establish herd immunity and to be able to effectively hold the virus at safe levels, about 80% of the Hungarian population needs to be vaccinated.
This has led Dr János Apostol and some of his colleagues to start a campaign to make the vaccine mandatory in Hungary, reports Mfor.
Dr János Apostol worries that by mid-May, the Hungarian vaccination program might run out of people to administer the vaccines to. If that happens, as he puts it, there will be 5.5 million Hungarians who could become infected, might need Covid-ward care, and could potentially die. He highlights that the Hippocratic oath does not only bestow the duty of treating and healing patients but also includes prevention. Dr János Apostol said to Mfor that why should we not take advantage of the solution that is already in our hands?
Although making the coronavirus vaccination mandatory could certainly help in keeping the virus at safer levels or at least mitigating the symptoms and even complications, there are some other aspects to consider. To shed some light on those aspects, Hvg interviewed Judit Zeller, an expert at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union’s Privacy Project.
The expert said that according to the Hungarian Fundamental Law and the European Court of Human Rights, there is absolutely no reason why the Hungarian government could not make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory, at least on a legal basis.
There are several other vaccines in existence that are mandatory, and being part of a society can, to this extent, bind people’s freedom, but making such a law would need to be based on scientific facts, data and evidence.
On the other hand, Judit Zeller says that if the government does not make it mandatory and does not change anything about the current measures, the employer cannot require the employee to be vaccinated.
On the contrary, the government could decide to make vaccination mandatory. It could also require employers to provide their employees with the vaccination if the vaccine might stop being free at some point.
According to her, if the vaccine will remain free, then the requirement to be vaccinated or the mandatory nature would be much more valid.
This is also true for festival organisers and operators of facilities, who might ask for some sort of certificate of vaccination. Although she noted that it is a difficult question as, although there is an objective basis to the distinction, if the vaccine is not accessible, then it could lead to indirect discrimination.
Source: Atv.hu, Hvg.hu, Mfor.hu