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.
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.
Vatican City, at 108 acres the world’s smallest state, has several thousand employees, most of whom live in Italy. Its vaccination programme began last month and Pope Francis, 84, was among the first to get the jab.
The seven-page decree says that those who cannot get vaccinated for health reasons may be given another position, presumably where they would have contact with fewer people, but will receive the same pay even if the new post is a demotion.
But the decree said those who refuse to get a vaccination without sufficient reason would be subject to a specific provision in a 2011 law on employee rights and duties.
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