The starting position for a vaccine is that “it should not automatically be generally mandatory”, but this may sometimes be appropriate, for example for special professions such as those exposed to vulnerable populations, PACE has said.
Approving a resolution on preventing vaccine discrimination, based on a report by Thorhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir (Iceland, SOC), the Assembly also said the compulsory use of Covid passes, in particular vaccine passes – aimed at restricting travel and access to certain public venues – entails risks of discrimination and the infringement of human rights.
States should avoid discrimination between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not or cannot be vaccinated, whether for medical or other reasons, the Assembly said. To avoid possible discrimination between vaccines, they should also treat equally all who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 by a vaccine approved either by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).
More widely, states should not restrict rights unless strictly necessary for public health purposes, with all restrictions to be prescribed by law, for the shortest possible time, and to be proportionate to the pursued aim.