On 19 May 2022, the French Council of State rejected claims of an individual who had challenged the relevant provisions establishing the health pass (decree of 7 June 2021), arguing that it had established an unjustified difference of treatment between those who had received vaccines authorized by the European Medicine Agency and those other who had taken Sinopharm, only authorized by the WHO (decision nº 454621).
The health pass was required to enter a number of public and private places, and attested to a person’s full vaccination, recovery, or negative testing for COVID-19.
The Council of State rejected the claims, considering it is legitimate to request a vaccine authorized by the European Medicine Agency to obtain the health pass. In particular, the Council of State considered that difference to be perfectly valid considering the circumstances at the moment and the different control procedures put in place for vaccines. For instance, there were not enough scientific evidence about the efficacy of Sinopharm vaccine when the relevant decree was adopted. Also, there were alternatives to the presentation of a vaccination certificate – the plaintiff could also show negative test results or a certificate of recovery from the illness. The Council of State also rejected claims that the COVID-19 vaccination constituted clinical trials in the sense of Regulation (EU) n°536/2014 on clinical trials for humans and that its provisions had not been respected. That is because the authorized COVID-19 vaccines had complied with all requirements for its marketing. Finally, the Council of State found that the precautionary principle could not apply here, as the contested provisions did not relate to the environment, in the sense of Article 5 of the Environment Charter.