Czech parents may avoid vaccinating children in exceptional cases
The Czech Constitutional Court (ÚS) ruled that parents can refuse to have children vaccinated based on freedom of conscience in a broad sense, and not just freedom of religion.
The case involved parents who had been fines for failing to comply with compulsory vaccination.
But the reason has to be more than a mere doubt about the effectiveness of vaccination, according to Judge Ludvík David.
Experience in the family with bad side effects is one possible exception that could lead to a fine being forgiven
The court added it was necessary to balance factors including the strength of belief and the impact on society.
Under current law, falling to vaccinate may be fined up to Kč 10,000.
The parents in this case said they would not vaccinate on account of their conscience and un the child’s best interest. They cited fear autism as a side effect, and that a vaccination would interfere with the child’s natural defenses.
The Health Ministry responded to the ruling by posting a video about the effectiveness of vaccines.