Ethical and legal considerations COVID-19 vaccination

Currently, the Dutch government has no intention of using interventions that restrict individual choice to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake. However, it is conceivable that private institutions and businesses will want to require proof of vaccination for access to their facilities or services. Economic interests may play a role in this, in addition to the desire to protect the health of their clients or visitors (exercising their duty of care). In principle, based on the applicable laws and regulations, private entities may require proof of vaccination. However, such requirements must not result in discrimination or unfair treatment and they must comply with privacy legislation. Private entities must always weigh up the different interests at stake. They must be able to demonstrate that vaccination requirements serve a legitimate aim, that they are necessary to achieve that aim, that the benefits outweigh the potential harms and that there is no less intrusive means to achieve the intended aim. Whether vaccination requirements are justified can vary from one setting to the next. The Council has outlined a framework that can be used to perform this assessment. According to the Health Council of the Netherlands, the government must maintain supervision to see to the responsible use of vaccination requirements by private parties.