Daycare centers can be allowed to accept only vaccinated children
The government can allow daycare centers to refuse un-vaccinated children, but only as a last resort to increase the vaccination rate if it fell below a certain critical limit, the Council of State said in advice on the recommendations made by the Vermeij Committee last year, ANP reports.
The Vermeij Committee came up with recommendations on how to ease parents' concerns regarding the declining vaccination rate at the time. Recommendations ranged from better information to convince anti-vaxxers that vaccination is safe, to a conditional vaccination obligation at daycare centers. The government asked the Council of State to investigate whether this obligation can be implemented in line with the Constitution and international treaties.
The Council of State concluded that it can, as long as it is a last resort - if all other attempts to get the vaccination rate up to an acceptable standard have failed. The choice of whether or not to vaccinate their children remains with parents, the Council of State said. Parents who refrain from vaccination will no longer be able to use daycare centers, but that does not constitute a general vaccination obligation.
The government will use the Council of State ruling to carefully investigate whether and how conditional access to childcare can be laid down in law, State Secretaries Bas van 't Wout of Social Affairs and Paul Blokhuis of Public Health said in a response. At the moment, the government can give "no priority" to this matter, given the extra work around the coronavirus pandemic, they added. They also stressed that the government has no plans to introduce a general vaccination obligation.
An initiative law by the D66 that offers childcare centers the option of making vaccination an admittance requirement was approved by the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, in February. The Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, is currently discussing this law.