COVID-19 vaccination: The COVID-19 pandemic has entered its third year and amid this, it has been a year since India began administering vaccines to its population to aid the fight against the deadly disease. On January 13 this year, the Government of India told the apex court that the country did not issue any guideline forcing citizens to mandatorily take vaccines even if they did not wish to do so, nor was the vaccination certificate made compulsory for any purpose, according to a report in IE. The Union Health Ministry reiterated that no person could be forced to get vaccinated if they did not wish so.
This means that unlike some other countries, India has not put into force any vaccine mandate. Global health body World Health Organisation (WHO) has also warned against issuance of vaccine mandates until no other option is available.
Some countries, however, have enforced vaccine mandates for their populations. Austria, for instance, will be making vaccines mandatory for all people aged 18 years or older, from February, with only exceptions being pregnant women and those who have medical grounds to be exempted from the vaccine. Meanwhile, France on Sunday saw its Parliament approving a law barring unvaccinated people from being able to visit restaurants and bars among some other places, which were till now allowing unvaccinated people to enter upon such individuals furnishing a recent COVID negative report. Upon this bill becoming a law, unvaccinated people in France would have to either get a vaccine pass or some proof to show that they are indeed vaccinated, and at present, people in many cities are protesting against this move.
While Germany has not yet taken any such decision, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a recent Parliament speech seemed to be an advocate for a vaccine mandate being issued for all adults in the country.
Italy, which has already made it mandatory for teachers and healthcare workers to be vaccinated, in January made it mandatory for all individuals above 50 years of age to be vaccinated. Since October last year, employees have already had to either be vaccinated or show a recent COVID negative test to be able to enter their workplaces.
Places like bars, hotels and restaurants and government buildings in Morocco require people to be vaccinated. In the UK, meanwhile, only health and social care workers are required to be vaccinated till now, with them needing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 come April 1.