Soldiers threatened with dismissal if they don’t get vaccinated
A platoon commander told Air Brigade soldiers last week that they will be fired if the refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. The Ministry of Defense stressed that this is absolutely not true, but the statement still led to a great deal of unrest among the troops, military union ACOM and military law attorney Michael Ruperti said to AD.
ACOM received several reports from concerned soldiers. A number also called Ruperti for legal advice. "This is completely unacceptable and also not true," ACOM chairman Jan Kropf said to the newspaper.
It has long been mandatory that soldiers, before deployment, be vaccinated against a number of infectious diseases that are in circulation to the area where they are going. The Ministry of Defense is considering adding the coronavirus vaccine to this list. But dismissal on refusal is definitely not on the cards, spokesperson Sjaak van Elten for the Ministry said to the newspaper.
"There is absolutely no question of people being nominated for discharge if they do not get vaccinated. We are still in consultation and weighing up what to do with the coronavirus vaccine for our soldiers and whether that will have consequences for people who do not want it," Van Elten said.
According to ACOM chairman Kropf, some soldiers have concerns about the vaccine. "A lot of soldiers have no problem with a corona shot, but a small number do. They still find too much unclear about the consequences of such a vaccine for their body. If the Ministry of Defense wants to compulsory have it injected into military personnel, then there must also be clarity about how any health damage will be handled."
Ruperti also thinks the Ministry needs to do more to address concerns about side effects.