The significant increase in new coronavirus cases due to the highly contagious Delta variant, as well as a slowdown in vaccinations, have prompted governments to make vaccination mandatory for health care workers and other high-risk groups.
Compulsory vaccination now seems to be gaining ground around the world. More and more countries are also stipulating that a vaccine or negative test will be required for various activities, including dining at a restaurant.
The following are countries that have chosen to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory, to a greater or lesser degree.
Vaccination mandatory for adults
Vaccination for all adults is a rare occurrence:
– TAJIKISTAN: A government decree published through the official Tajik news agency obliges all citizens over the age of 18 to be vaccinated, without giving further details or specifying the conditions under which this obligation will apply.
TURKMENISTAN: this isolated country in Central Asia, one of the few in the world that has not reported a single case of Covid-19, announced on July 7 through its Ministry of Health that it makes vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory for all residents over 18 years of age, provided there are no medical contraindications.
– VATICAN: with an announcement dated February 8, vaccination became mandatory for residents of the smallest country in the world and those who work in it. Sanctions can theoretically go as far as dismissing those who do not comply.
– INDONESIA: The country made vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory in February and authorities are threatening to impose fines of up to 5 million rupees (US $ 357) for refusing vaccination.
Vaccination mandatory for certain categories
Some countries require compulsory vaccination for certain sections of the population:
– ITALY: A legislative decree, issued on 25 May, obliges doctors and healthcare staff, including pharmacists, to be vaccinated against Covid-19 because otherwise they will not be able to work in contact with other people. Those who refuse can be suspended from unpaid work for the rest of the year. This vaccination order was brought to justice by 300 Italian nurses and the start of the relevant hearing was scheduled for yesterday, Wednesday.
UNITED KINGDOM: The government announced on 16 June that full coronavirus vaccination would be mandatory from October for all those working in UK nursing homes, including non-medical staff such as hairdressers, beauticians and volunteers.
AUSTRALIA: the country decided at the end of June to make the vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory for high-risk workers in nursing homes and for workers in quarantine hotels. It also made it mandatory to vaccinate Australian Paralympic athletes traveling to Tokyo, as unvaccinated team members could pose a health risk.
– FRANCE: All healthcare workers must be vaccinated against Covid-19 and anyone wishing to go to the cinema or board a train must show proof of vaccination or a negative test, according to new rules announced Monday by President Emanuel Macron.
– POLAND: The country may make mandatory vaccinations from August for some people who are at increased risk of Covid-19.
RUSSIA: President Vladimir Putin opposes the imposition of a national vaccination requirement, but the mayor of Moscow announced on June 16 that vaccination of service workers is becoming mandatory. Also in late June, Muscovite authorities ordered cafes, bars and restaurants to serve only people who have been vaccinated, immunized or tested negative for Covid. The Russian capital presented another plan that requires the full vaccination of 60% of workers in the entire service sector, ie about two million people, by August 15. Since then, other local entities, including St. Petersburg and its environs, have taken similar action.
KAZAKHSTAN: The country will introduce a mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 or test every week for all those working in groups of more than 20 people, the Ministry of Health announced on June 23. Those who refuse to be vaccinated will be barred from coming into contact with other persons in the course of their professional duties.
– FITZI: this Pacific archipelago has made it mandatory to vaccinate workers in the public as well as in the private sector. Civil servants will have to take leave if they have not done their first installment on August 15, and they risk being fired if they have not been given the second installment before November 1. In the private sector, employees must have made their first installment by 1 August.
– USA: The city of San Francisco announced at the end of June that it will ask its approximately 35,000 employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19, because otherwise they will be subject to disciplinary sanctions that may lead to dismissal. However, this requirement will not apply until the vaccines are fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In addition, more than 150 employees of one of Texas' largest hospitals were fired or resigned after refusing to be vaccinated, something the hospital demanded. Some workers sued the hospital, but their appeal was dismissed.
Vaccination… almost mandatory
Some countries do not formally require their citizens to be vaccinated, but the restrictions on non-vaccinated people are such that vaccination seems… almost mandatory.
– SAUDI ARABIA: the kingdom has instructed all public and private sector workers who want to come to work to be vaccinated, but did not specify when this obligation will take effect. Vaccination will also be required from 1 August to enter any government, private or educational institution, including entertainment venues, and to use any means of public transport.
PAKISTAN: From 1 July, the province of Baluchistan in southwestern Pakistan has banned unvaccinated people from entering public services, parks, shopping malls and public transport. In other parts of the country, particularly in Sindh province, provincial civil servants who refuse to be vaccinated will no longer be paid, and Punjab authorities have threatened to cut off telephone calls to those who refuse the vaccine.