The Vatican has notified employees that they risk losing their jobs if they refuse to vaccinate against the coronavirus without valid health reasons.
This is reported by Reuters.
A decree issued by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the de facto governor of the Vatican, says vaccination is a “responsible choice” because of the risk of harming others.
The Vatican, the smallest state in the world, occupies 43 hectares of land, employs several thousand people, most of whom live in Italy. His vaccination program began in January, and the 84-year-old Pope Francis was one of the first to receive the vaccine.
The seven-page decree states that those who are unable to get vaccinated for health reasons may be given another position, presumably where they will have contact with fewer people, but they will receive the same pay, even if it is a demotion.
At the same time, the document emphasizes that those who refuse to be vaccinated without sufficient grounds will fall under the special provision of the 2011 law on the rights and obligations of employees.
One of the articles of the law states that employees who refuse to take “preventive measures” may be subjected to “varying degrees of consequences that may lead to dismissal.”
Pope Francis is a big proponent of vaccines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “It’s an ethical choice because you’re gambling with your health, your life, but you’re also gambling with the lives of others,” he said in January.
The Vatican has introduced mandatory vaccination for journalists who will accompany Pope Francis on his trip to Iraq next month.
There are fewer than 30 cases of coronavirus reported in the Vatican, most of them among the Swiss Guard, who live in communal barracks.