The Vatican authorities have passed a decree according to which refusal to vaccinate against COVID-19 without medical indications could lead to a "severance of labor relations." Governor of the city-state Giuseppe Bertello signed it back on 8 February. In most of the rest of the world, vaccination is done on a voluntary basis only.
The decree refers to vaccination as a “responsible choice” because of the risk of harm to others if it is refused. Those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons may be given a different position in which they are expected to have fewer contacts, but will continue to receive the same pay, even if it is a demotion.
At the same time, the document emphasizes that those who refuse to be vaccinated without good reason will be subject to a special provision of the 2011 law on the rights and obligations of employees. One of his articles states that employees who refuse "preventive measures" can face "consequences of varying degrees, which can lead to termination."
The pontiff is a supporter of vaccination, notes Reuters. “It's an ethical choice because you are betting your health, your life, but you are also betting the lives of others,” he said in an interview last month. All journalists who are to accompany the pontiff in March during a visit to Iraq must be vaccinated against the coronavirus without fail.
In early February, the Vatican and most regions of Italy partially lifted the restrictive measures introduced to combat the spread of the coronavirus. For example, in the Vatican, museums and the Sistine Chapel were opened for visiting, which did not work for almost 90 days.