The ruling is the first time the European Court of Human Rights has weighed in on the issue of compulsory vaccinations. The ruling could play a role in efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Thursday that compulsory vaccinations are legal and may be necessary in democratic societies.
The ruling came following the conclusion of a complaint brought to the court by Czech families regarding compulsory jabs for children.
"The measures could be regarded as being 'necessary in a democratic society'," the court judgment read.
Although the ruling did not deal directly with COVID-19 vaccines, experts believe it could have implications for vaccination drives against the virus, especially among those who have so far stated a refusal to accept the jab.
This judgment "reinforces the possibility of a compulsory vaccination under conditions of the current COVID-19 epidemic," Nicolas Hervieu, a legal expert specializing in the ECHR, told AFP news agency.
What was the court ruling about?
The decision said that the compulsory vaccines administered by Czech health authorities were in line with the "best interests" of children.
"The objective has to be that every child is protected against serious diseases, through vaccination or by virtue of herd immunity," it added.
The court ruled that the Czech health policy was not in violation of Article 8 on the right to respect for private life in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights.
By Czech law, children must be vaccinated against nine diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and measles.
The case was brought to the court by families that had been fined or whose children had been refused access to a nursery for failing to comply with their legal vaccination duty.
This is a breaking news article and will be updated as more details become available.