300 Italian health workers challenge vaccine obligation

300 Italian health workers challenge vaccine obligation
300 Italian health workers challenge vaccine obligation

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - File photo of Medical workers of the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the Santo Stefano hospital in Prato, near Florence, Tuscany, are pictured while tending to a patient December 17, 2020. — AFP pic

ROME, July 3 — Three hundred healthcare workers in Italy have lodged a legal challenge against the requirement that they get vaccinated against coronavirus, according to media reports today.

The case, brought by professionals throughout northern Italy, will be heard on July 14.

“This isn’t a battle by anti-vaxxers but a democratic battle,” constitutional lawyer Daniele Granara, who helped build up the case, was cited as saying in the Giornale di Brescia newspaper.

“We force people to take a risk under threat of no longer being allowed to exercise their profession,” he added.

Granara is also defending dozens of caregivers who have been suspended from work for refusing to be vaccinated.

Italy passed a law in April obliging anyone working in public or private social health positions, including in pharmacies and doctors’ offices, to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or be suspended without pay, unless their employer can reassign them to a less sensitive position.

After the elderly and vulnerable, caregivers including teachers were the first to be vaccinated in Italy.

A total of 52.7 million vaccine does have been administered throughout the country, and around 19.5 million Italians are now fully vaccinated, 36 percent of the population over 12 years of age.

According to recent official figures, 45,750 of the 1.9 million salaried healthcare workers have not yet received a single vaccine dose. — AFP

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