There is no legal basis for a school to reject a student for not having vaccines. Schools normally require the Vaccine Bulletin for the enrollment, but as assumed by the school principals themselves, it is merely a matter of awareness.
“Schools can not prevent the enrollment. What the school is obliged to do in these situations is to inform the student and the caretaker, as well as the health authorities, that the vaccines are not up to date so that they can take the necessary measures, “said the Ministry of Education in statements written by the Jornal de Notícias after the controversial death of a 17-year-old girl who contracted measles in 2017.
Education is mandatory until the 12th grade because it constitutes a fundamental right of the Portuguese citizen. The vaccination proposed by the Ministry of Health through the National Vaccination Plan is only a recommendation.
Vaccination can be refused by any citizen, since it is up to the person’s decision regarding its health, according to the Portuguese Constitution (read the article about “Does the Portuguese Constitution provide for the right to non-vaccination?”).
At the end of 2017, the Parliament also voted against, with the votes of the left-wing parties, a proposal from the CDS to prevent the enrollment of students who do not have the vaccines recommended in the National Vaccination Plan.
The Directorate-General for Health only advises schools to withdraw from school, for a period of 21 days, any member of the school community who, after being exposed to the measles virus, refuses to be vaccinated.
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