Italian healthcare workers take government to court over mandatory Covid vaccinations

Italian healthcare workers take government to court over mandatory Covid vaccinations
A woman is vaccinated on the island of Lampedusa in May. Credit: ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP
Three hundred healthcare workers in Italy have lodged a legal challenge against the requirement that they get vaccinated against coronavirus.

The case, brought by professionals throughout northern Italy, will be heard on July 14th, Italian media reports.

“This isn’t a battle by anti-vaxxers but a democratic battle,” constitutional lawyer Daniele Granara, who helped build up the case, was cited as saying in the Giornale di Brescia newspaper.

READ ALSO: Italy passes 50 million vaccinations milestone

“We force people to take a risk under threat of no longer being allowed to exercise their profession,” he added.

Granara is also defending dozens of caregivers who have been suspended from work for refusing to be vaccinated.

Italy passed a law in April obliging anyone working in public or private social health positions, including in pharmacies and doctors’ offices, to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or be suspended without pay, unless their employer can reassign them to a less sensitive position.

After the elderly and vulnerable, caregivers including teachers were the first to be vaccinated in Italy.

READ ALSO: Italian health experts warn about Delta variant as vaccine progress slows

A total of 52.7 million vaccine does have been administered throughout the country, and around 19.5 million Italians are now fully vaccinated, 36 percent of the population over 12 years of age.

According to recent official figures, 45,750 of the 1.9 million salaried healthcare workers have not yet received a single vaccine dose.

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