Vatican decree says staff who refuse vaccination against Covid-19 could be fired

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Vatican staff who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19 could be sacked under a decree made public on Thursday by the city state, which employs around 5,000 people.

An employee must have a documented medical reason for refusing a jab or face “consequences of various degrees which may go as far as the termination of employment”, according to the text.

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The document, which cites a 2011 Vatican law, also concerns job applicants, saying the Holy See may not hire them if they refuse to be vaccinated.

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“Refusing vaccination could also be a risk for others (and) seriously increase risks to public health,” it says.

The same document also details fines of between 25 and 50 euros ($30-60) for failing to wear a mask or to observe social distancing, and up to 1,500 euros for breaking quarantine rules.

The Vatican began vaccinating its employees for free last month. Pope Francis, 84, and his 93-year-old predecessor pope Benedict XVI have both received the jab.

Read more: Coronavirus: Pope unsure if March trip to Iraq can take place because of COVID-19

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