FEB. 18, 2021
ROME — The Vatican has told employees that they may risk losing their jobs if they refuse to get a Covid-19 vaccination without legitimate health reasons, the Associated Press reports.
A decree by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, effectively the governor of Vatican City, said getting a vaccine was “the responsible choice” because of the risk of harming other people.
The decree proclaims that Vatican employees who opt out without a proven medical need risk sanctions up to and including “the interruption of the relationship of employment.” The Vatican is an absolute monarchy in the heart of Rome that operates independently of Italian law and Italian labor protections.
The decree cited the need to protect Vatican employees in the workplace, as well as guidelines issued by Francis’ own COVID-19 commission of advisers who said there was a moral responsibility to vaccinate yourself “given that refusing a vaccine can constitute a risk for others.”
The decree was signed on 8 February and later posted on the website of the governor’s department.