Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

No tolerance for Anti-vax health workers


A landmark European court decision ruled this week that compulsory vaccinatio­ns for children are “necessary in a democratic society”, resolving once and for all the rights of society supersede those of the individual on national health issues.

After all, the current coronaviru­s pandemic has shown that public health is also a primary national security matter. And it should be treated as such.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) nearunanim­ous panel of judges rejected a Czech family’s appeal, claiming that the compulsory vaccinatio­n law went against their right to respect private life.

The vaccinatio­n in question is the series of preventive jabs or drops that all children have received from a very young age, protecting them against a series of nine diseases, initially known as the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.

Over the years, it has expanded to include the antiviral for polio, hepatitis B, and tetanus.

Future vaccines may even include SARS-CoV-2. Poliomyeli­tis was nearly eradicated a decade ago, but conflict such as the war in Afghanista­n, civil wars in Iraq and Syria, the rise of ISIS fundamenta­lism prevented UN health workers from administer­ing the vaccine.

As a result, polio is back.

The same could be said of COVID-19, where if we do not fight the virus now in a universal effort to prevent it from spreading and becoming deadlier, more mutations will appear, making it harder to combat.

Sixteen of the 17 ECHR judges rejected the Czech families’ argument against compulsory vaccinatio­n, concluded “the measures could be regarded as being necessary in a democratic society,” and the government did not “exceeded their wide margin of appreciati­on in this area.”

Apart from the ignoramus anti-vaxxers and antimask conspiracy theorists, we now have spoilt public health workers in Cyprus who refuse to be vaccinated.

They are front-line health workers entrusted by the public to protect and care for us if we are inflicted with the deadly disease.

That is their job. If there are a few who don’t want to do it, they should go home and look for another job and let the vast majority of nurses and doctors do theirs.

This irresponsi­ble attitude and tolerance by politician­s, especially on the eve of an election, must stop.

The Anastasiad­es administra­tion is hell-bent on defending what little is left of its good name, having nurtured a reputation for turning a blind eye to corruption and greed, spending all its effort to counter the harsh criticism over the golden passports debacle.

Worse still, government and public officials’ emetic responses are simply feeding the growing feeling of mistrust, as seen by a recent CyBC poll suggesting two-thirds reject Anastasiad­es policies.

This doldrum in popularity is worse than Donald Trump’s.

For once, officials should have the courage to be blunt with public health workers, telling them to vaccinate or go home.

If teachers can be dragged before a disciplina­ry panel for refusing to be tested, conditiona­l for entering schools, why can’t disobedien­t nurses and doctors get sacked for violating their terms of employment?

And if this government refuses to do anything about it, it’s about time they went home too!

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