The Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE) assures that “today” there are no epidemiological or ethical reasons that justify mandatory vaccination, after the Galician Parliament has approved the reform of the regulations to impose fines on those who unjustifiably refuse to be vaccinated.
In a joint position, the SEE admits that Spanish legislation allows the authorities to force vaccination in certain circumstances, although it adds that “it is less clear” that a community can do it “unilaterally throughout its territory, especially if its situation is better than many others. “
“Day by day there are no epidemiological or ethical reasons that justify the obligatory nature of the vaccination. On the contrary, “maintains the SEE.
And it is that it indicates that from the epidemiological point of view, the Spanish population accepts vaccines for the most part, more than 80% in the latest polls, a percentage that “would probably be enough to get group immunity.”
He argues that from an ethical point of view, mandatory vaccination “only makes sense” if there is a significant rejection of the population to receive an effective and safe vaccine and if it prevents herd immunity from being achieved.
“Obligation only makes sense if the protection of the common good has to be done at the cost of necessarily not respecting individual decisions of the opponents to be vaccinated. But that is not the case with vaccination against covid “, abounds the SEE.
He emphasizes that while the percentage of people who reject vaccination is “relatively small”, the “more reasonable” public health policies “advise”harmonize the search for the common good and solidarity with respect for individual decisions, free and without coercion “.
“This applies the advice to resort to the less restrictive public health support measures of individual liberties “, continues the SEE.
In addition, it considers that punitive or mandatory measures can generate in the population a distrust in the authorities “very inadvisable for the management of the pandemic” and, therefore, it should be the last resort “when the situation demands it and there are no other alternatives.”
In any case, it adds, “the obligation” of the health authorities is “persuade and convince” to all those who may have reservations against vaccination of the “enormous benefits” that they bring to all “in the face of very small risks to which they are exposed.”
The Galician decision
The absolute majority of the PPdeG in the Parliament of Galicia approved last Tuesday with the rejection of the opposition the modification of the Galician Health Law, which enables decree mandatory confinements or quarantines, limit social interactions and what does it foresee fines of up to 60,000 euros for refusing to be vaccinated.
The president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, lI’ve spent months defending this regulation as “the first law of pandemics in Spain”, since it will allow autonomy to apply certain restrictions without being under the umbrella of the state of alarm, which for the opposition it means “restricting constitutional rights” with “a permanent state of alarm.”
Specifically, this text establishes a sanction between 1,000 and 3,000 euros for “the unjustified refusal to submit to preventive measures, consisting of the vaccination or immunization prescribed by the health authorities, in accordance with the provisions of this law “.
However, and as long as the competent health authority considers that the refusal to receive the vaccination “implies a risk or serious harm to health of the population “, a citizen could receive a fine of between 3,001 and 60,000 euros.