Urge or coercion if vaccination coverage in the Netherlands remains too low?

The moment when everyone who wants that is vaccinated is approaching. Now 46 percent of the Dutch population is fully vaccinated, but that has to be increased to 85 percent. What if the percentage stays below that? “If restrictive measures are needed again because the ICs are full of people who could have been protected, resentment could arise in society,” says legal philosopher Roland Pierik.

In the United States, politicians are already struggling with the stagnant vaccination rate. It remains there at 68 percent. About 20 percent of the population there say they do not want a vaccine in any case, unless it is required by their employer, the BBC reports.

In the Netherlands, things look rosier: at the beginning of July, the willingness to vaccinate was on average 89 percent. However, there are specific groups where that percentage is much lower. In Amsterdam, only a quarter of Moroccan Dutch people are vaccinated. According to Pierik, the government should in any case look at the groups that are difficult to reach and the neighborhoods where the vaccination coverage is low. “They will have to work hard to convince them. By bus into the neighborhoods.”

Only welcome after vaccination

Restricting the freedom of unvaccinated people can also be an option. “Such an intervention must be necessary and proportional,” says Pierik. “Necessary means that it is really necessary to prevent a new outbreak. Proportional means that you should not shoot a mosquito with a cannon.”

France has already introduced far-reaching measures. There, all healthcare staff are required to be vaccinated before September 15. Failure to do so faces a penalty. From the beginning of August, a ‘obligation of proof’ would apply in French cafes, cinemas, public places and public transport. You are only welcome if you are fully vaccinated, have a negative test or have recently recovered from a corona infection. Thousands of people took to the streets in protest, after which the government temporarily reduced some of the measures.

Making compulsory vaccinations for medical personnel is, in Pierik’s opinion, going too far. But the fact that you are only allowed to go to a nightclub or festival while vaccinated is a good example of such a ‘proportional measure’, he says. “These are the places where the risk of infection is greatest. The next step would be that this applies to all catering establishments. Not getting vaccinated in a pandemic has consequences.”

Urge or coercion?

But there will never be a real vaccination compulsion here. “Volunteering is always the starting point in the Netherlands,” says ethicist and health law researcher AndrĂ© Krom of the LUMC. “You always look for the least drastic measure for the effect you want to achieve.”

In the city center of Amersfoort there is great doubt about a compelling approach to vaccine refusers:

“Everyone decides for themselves, but I think it’s a bit stupid”

“Certain forms of “urge” could be necessary. Then you make it more attractive for people to get vaccinated. For example: you can only go on the terrace with a vaccination certificate. If you also offer people an alternative, such as a negative test , it is a light urge. The fewer alternatives, the stronger the urge,” says Krom. “But the question is whether it is necessary. A measure can also be to ask people to stay at home a bit more.”

Pierik hopes that we will achieve the vaccination rate without coercion or pressure. “But if that doesn’t work, I fear for solidarity. And I think that the people who work in hospitals will also be less willing to walk on their gums if people could have protected themselves.”

Urge or coercion if vaccination coverage in the Netherlands remains too low?
Source link Urge or coercion if vaccination coverage in the Netherlands remains too low?

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