Denmark scraps provision for enforced vaccination in new epidemic bill

Denmark scraps provision for enforced vaccination in new epidemic bill
Health minister Magnus Heunicke. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
A political majority has given its backing to a bill providing for a new epidemic law to replace the emergency law passed at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bill, announced over the weekend, is significantly different from an earlier proposal which the government withdraw due to popular and political opposition over the far-reaching powers it could have given authorities.

The new version is backed by a broad majority of parties from both the right and left wing parliamentary blocs, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

One particularly criticised element of the original proposal, which would have allowed forced vaccination in order to contain and eliminate a dangerous disease in specified situations, is not in the new bill.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What is Denmark's proposed 'epidemic law' and why is it being criticised?

Restrictions of an “interventionist nature” will now require a parliamentary vote and cannot unilaterally be placed by the health minister, DR reports.

Meanwhile, the most controversial element of the previous proposal, which provided for vaccination to be forced through physical detainment if deemed necessary to contain and eliminate a dangerous disease, has been scrapped. All provisions for any application of force under any circumstances have been written out of the bill.

“We are simply writing all forms of forced vaccination out of the epidemic law because we believe that information and openness are better for the vaccination case than threats and force,” health minister Magnus Heunicke said.

According to the new bill, restrictions of an “interventionist nature” will require a parliamentary majority before they can be implemented. Proposed restrictions must be presented to a parliamentary committee.

The new ‘epidemic law' (epidemilov) will replace an emergency law passed in the spring which gave the government extended powers to intervene in society in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. That law expires on March 1st 2021.

 

 


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