Compulsory Vaccination for Healthcare Workers in Italy for the Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Paola Frati, Raffaele La Russa, Nicola Di Fazio, Zoe Del Fante, Giuseppe Delogu, Vittorio Fineschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) judgement no. 116(2021) of 8 April 2021 establishes the principle of mandatory vaccination, indicating the criteria that national legislation must comply with, following the principle of non-interference in the private life of the individual. Vaccination for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection appears to be an essential requirement for providing healthcare assistance. The European experience with compulsory vaccinations, offers a composite panorama, as the strategy of some European countries is to make vaccinations compulsory, including financial penalties for non-compliance. As in other countries, there is a clear need for Italy to impose compulsory vaccination for healthcare workers, in response to a pressing social need to protect individual and public health, and above all as a defense for vulnerable subjects or patients, for whom health workers have a specific position of guarantee and trust. The Italian Republic provided for mandatory vaccinations for health professionals by Decree-Law of 1 April 2021 no. 44, to guarantee public health and adequate safety conditions. As stated by ECHR, the Italian State, despite having initially opted for recommendation as regards to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, had to adopt the mandatory system to achieve the highest possible degree of vaccination coverage among health professionals to guarantee the safety of treatments and protection of patients' health. We present the Italian situation on vaccine hesitation in healthcare workers, with updated epidemiological data as well as the doctrinaire, social, and political debate that is raging in Italy and Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 29 2021


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