Constitutional Court rules Health Ministry can continue with mandatory vaccination for children
The country’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the Health Ministry can continue with mandatory vaccination for children for chosen illnesses. In doing so, the court failed to side with parents who wanted the use of the hexa vaccine to be their decision alone. The group had argued that the vaccine, which targets serious diseases including Hepatitis B, “overburdens” children’s immune systems. But the court ruled that the purpose of vaccination is above all to protect public health, in this case overriding the needs of the individual. Judge Ludvík Daněk said that the autonomy of parents in deciding health matters for their child was “not absolute”. Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček welcomed the decision, saying he knew of no more important a defence than mandatory vaccination. Under Czech law, anyone failing to vaccinate their child in such cases risks a fine of up to 10,000 crowns.