MP’s against mandatory Covid vaccination, but refuse to block obligation
The lower house of Dutch parliament rejected a motion excluding possible mandatory vaccinations. Yet, a majority is still against it, according to a survey by ANP. Several parties voted against it because there is currently no question of mandatory vaccination, they said. Others, including VVD and D66, want to leave the door open.
Pepijn van Houwelingen of Forum voor Democratie submitted the motion during the coronavirus debate on Wednesday. The text refers to a statement by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, who called it "understandable and appropriate" to talk within the European Union about "a joint approach" to vaccinations. Many political parties supported the motion, but it did not get a majority.
In May, parliament voted on a motion by the Van Haga group that ruled out "a direct or indirect vaccination obligation." That motion did receive sufficient support, partly because the CDA, PvdA, GroenLinks, and Den Haan factions were in favor at the time. These parties now voted against it.
CDA and GroenLinks said that they have not changed their opinion and are still against a vaccination obligation. The Labor Party also voted against the FvD motion because there are currently no plans for mandatory vaccination. Still, the party said, "in this crisis, in which the damage to public health and the economy is so enormous, it does not want to rue out a measure in advance."
VVD, D66, and Volt voted against both motions. The last party said it currently sees nothing in a vaccination obligation. The coronavirus measures must "always be proportional, and a vaccination obligation is not easily that." But the party finds it "unwise" to rule out such a measure in advance. D66 MP Jan Paternotte also said that he does not see anything in an obligation at the moment, although he does not want to "rule anything out in a crisis." He did not support Van Houwelingen's motion because he considers it a "nonsense motion" as long as there is no question of any obligation.
The VVD would rather not introduce an obligation, said MP Aukje de Vries. "We see that there are no more easy measures. So we must always continue to look at measures with an open mind, even if they are difficult."
For the time being, Liane den Haan is the only one who thinks that "given the current pressure on healthcare, we have reached the point that we should discuss mandatory vaccination."
Reporting by ANP