Three hundred Italian health workers have gone to court to have the official requirement for medical and health care workers to be vaccinated against the New Coronavirus removed. A date has been set for the court hearing, with the first heated arguments in court on July 14. The case may become the first in Europe in which health care workers have taken the government to court, with the lawsuit accusing the government of breaking the law by making vaccination mandatory for specific professions under threat.
According to AFP, the lawsuit was filed with the Administrative Court of Brescia (North) on behalf of medical workers in Brescia, Cremona, Bergamo and Mantua in the Lombardy region.
According to Daniele Granara, the constitutional lawyer who filed the lawsuit, quoted by the local Brescia daily, explained that “this is not a fight to get a shot or not, but a fight to defend democratic freedoms.” The constitutional lawyer said, “The authorities are forcing people to get the vaccine or risk not being able to practice their profession anymore.”
The constitutional lawyer is also defending dozens of health care health workers who have been suspended for refusing vaccinations.
Under a law that came into force in April, “people working in public and private socio-medical health facilities, pharmacies, pan-medical pharmacies and private clinics are obliged to be vaccinated. In case of non-compliance, the law stipulates that those involved will be assigned to another department if they work in contact with the public; or will be suspended without pay if the employer has no new assignments to offer.”
In addition to the elderly and vulnerable, caregivers – as well as teachers -, are among the first people in Italy to be vaccinated.
So far, 52.7 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Italy. Some 19.5 million Italians have been vaccinated, representing 36 percent of the population over the age of 12.
According to the latest data from the Covid-19 Emergency Committee, 45,750 (2.3%) of the 1.9 million employees in the health sector are still waiting for their first dose or single dose of the vaccine.