Minister De Jonge: ‘No indirect vaccination obligation’

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Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health during the plenary debate in the Lower House about the developments surrounding the corona virus.Image ANP

According to De Jonge, it would be counterproductive if such an ‘indirect vaccination obligation’ were introduced. He thinks that people do not want to get vaccinated. He says this during the corona debate in the Lower House. The minister is, however, considering possible relaxation for specific groups to be vaccinated first. Such as residents, employees and informal carers in a nursing home, who no longer have to keep 1.5 meters away after vaccination.

Vaccinate voluntarily

VVD MP Hayke Veldman broached the subject during the corona debate in the House of Representatives. “I prefer that everyone does that voluntarily,” says Veldman about vaccinating against corona. “But I am prepared to make it an indirect vaccination obligation. That if you don’t get vaccinated, it will have consequences. You have to keep thinking about that. ” Prime Minister Rutte says that the cabinet will consider this in the coming weeks.

This week it turned out that the number of people who want to be vaccinated against corona has decreased in recent months. Where in June almost three quarters of the people said they were sure or likely to take a vaccine against the virus, in September that was 65 percent and now only 60 percent. The decrease is greatest among young people.

No direct duty

“As a liberal you also have the responsibility to keep thinking about what is happening in our society,” says VVD member Veldman. “Sometimes steps are needed of which you basically say: no, we don’t want that. Sometimes – precisely because of the freedom you have yourself – you need a step to protect the freedom of another. You will have to do that together. You have to think about that. ”

Veldman points out that a large part of the population must be vaccinated if it is to eradicate the corona virus. According to independent Member of Parliament Wybren van Haga, ‘many people are terrified of compulsory vaccination’. “There is now a threat of an indirect vaccination obligation,” complains Van Haga. “A child who has not been vaccinated will soon not be allowed to go to childcare, you will not enter a government building or you will not be allowed to go to a concert or library.”

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Prime Minister Rutte does not rule out that there will be indirect coercion for Dutch people to be vaccinated. “We are not in favor of compulsory vaccination,” emphasizes Rutte. “But you can also do it indirectly nudgen, stimulate people. That is really a medical ethics issue. We are currently considering this. There may come a time when half of the Netherlands is vaccinated: that is still too little for group immunity, what do you do then? What does that mean for people who have not yet been vaccinated? We really have to think deeply about that together in the coming weeks. ”

Nursing home

Corona Minister Hugo de Jonge said yesterday that there are no extra benefits for people who get vaccinated. He is, however, thinking of possible relaxation for specific groups that will be vaccinated first. Such as residents and employees in a nursing home, who no longer have to keep a distance of 1.5 meters after vaccination.

Other parties, such as CDA and GroenLinks, want the cabinet to start training people who can vaccinate next year. “With a bit of luck we can vaccinate half of our population next year,” said GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver. “That is why we should already focus on training people who vaccinate.” Klaver also wants the test capacity to be increased tenfold as soon as possible.

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