COVID-19 Compulsory Vaccination and the European Court of Human Rights

COVID-19 Compulsory Vaccination and the European Court of Human Rights



European Court of Human Rights, COVID-19, compulsory vaccination, human rights, originalism


Between August and September 2021, the European Court of Human Rights rejected three requests for interim measures against France and Greece’s compulsory vaccination statutes against COVID-19. Due to the procedural nature of the interim measures, however, the status of vaccine mandates against SARS-CoV-2 under the European Convention of Human Rights has not been addressed. The paper argues that COVID-19 compulsory vaccination is consistent with both the text and the original understanding of Article 8 of the Convention. Moreover, considering pertinent case law on medical mandatory treatments, COVID-19 vaccine mandates should also square with the European Court of Human Right’s “living instrument” doctrine. For this reason, it is expected that the European Court of Human rights will uphold COVID-19 vaccination programs. At the same time, it would be beneficial if more Council of Europe member states triggered Article 15 derogation mechanism in order to make an even stronger case for fast-track developed vaccines and contrast vaccine hesitancy.


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How to Cite

COVID-19 Compulsory Vaccination and the European Court of Human Rights. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2021 Oct. 19 [cited 2024 May 25];92(S6):e2021472. Available from: