Vatican says workers refusing vaccines may be fired

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Vatican officials have told employees they may risk getting fired if they refuse a coronavirus vaccination, Reuters reported Thursday.

Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello said in a decree that employees who are unable to get the shot for health reasons may be transferred to less public-facing positions with no reduction in pay.

However, the decree went on to say that those who did not have a health reason for refusing the vaccine will be subject to a 2011 law that states they will face “varying degrees of consequences that could lead to dismissal” for failing to take “preventive measures.”

Bertello himself tested positive for the virus in March and entered isolation for two weeks.

Pope Francis has similarly emphasized what he says is a responsibility for members of the public to receive the vaccination, telling Italian media last month “it is an ethical choice because [without the vaccine] you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others.”

The pontiff received the vaccine in January as the Vatican began its vaccination campaign.

The Vatican has also said only journalists who have received vaccinations will be permitted to accompany the Pope on a trip to Iraq in March.

While Vatican City itself has seen fewer than 30 cases of the virus, Italy was one of the early European epicenters of the pandemic, with more than 2.75 million confirmed cases and 95,540 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Tags Coronavirus Covid-19 vaccination Pope Francis Vatican City

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