The third summer division (not a plenary session) of the Greek Council of State, the country’s supreme administrative court, has rejected a petition submitted by hospital doctors and administrators who sought an injunction that would block their compulsory vaccination, as decided by the government.
The ruling is temporary, yet it reflects the legal reasoning of the Court on a decision that has stirred debate and skirmishes – the legality of government measures regarding compulsory vaccination of members of particular professional groups.
In speaking of the decision of the Council of State and the rights of unvaccinated citizens, we are at risk as a society of missing the big picture.
It is the picture of the global spread of COVID-19 and of countries that have vaccinated a large percentage of their population in order to stem the spread of the virus.
Scientists have warned of the dangers posed by the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 and they constantly stress the benefits of vaccination for public health and the health of individuals.
The possible long-term repercussions for the human body of falling ill with COVID-19 are much greater, and clearly much more dangerous, than any short-term repercussions from the vaccine.
Hence, we do not need judicial decisions to understand the urgent need to protect those around us and ourselves.
We should not be discussing the balance between individual rights and the rights of the rest of the citizenry.
Even if one does not have legal training, one can comprehend that there can be no individual right that imperils the lives of others, because that would mean that we have anarchy instead of democracy.