Gov't failed by letting people party immediately after Janssen vaccine: lawyers
The Dutch government failed to fulfill its constitutional duty of care by creating the suggestion that it was okay to go clubbing immediately after people had their Janssen vaccination, lawyers and experts in the field of personal injury said to BNR. However, they don't expect that damage claims against the government will have much chance of success.
Article 22 of the Dutch Constitution states that the government must take measures to promote public health. And the government did not do that when they gave people a vaccination certificate immediately after their shot. This allowed people to get vaccinated in the morning and then use the vaccination certificate QR code to go to a festival, nightclub or party that night. It was already known that it takes the vaccine a few weeks to provide optimal protection against Covid-19, the lawyers argue. They're especially critical of Health Minister Hugo de Jonge's "dancing with Janssen" statement, with which he encouraged young people to get vaccinated.
According to lawyer Frans Joosten, who specializes in personal injury, the government should have waited two to three weeks between the time of the injection and giving people a vaccination certificate to use for access to events and clubs. "That didn't happen and that's really a shortcoming in the care and a shortcoming in the policy," he said to BNR.
Ivo Giessen, professor of private law at Utrecht University, agrees. "The suggestion was that you could get your shot in the morning and go dancing in the evening," Giesen said. "That seems to be information that is not entirely in line with medical insights. You can argue that the government has a duty to provide information to citizens in a careful manner when it comes to these kinds of matters."
Despite this, citizens won't have much luck with damage claims on this matter. "The government probably assumed that it was known that the vaccine takes time to have an effect when it immediately released the QR code," Jaap Sijmons, professor of Health Law at Utrecht University, said to the broadcaster. "Not convenient, but whether this legally violated its duty of care remains to be seen."