First country in Europe: Compulsory vaccination against Covid-19 is approved in Austria

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Since the proposal was announced in November in an effort to increase vaccination coverage, tens of thousands of people have been gathering at regular demonstrations over the weekends to protest against compulsory vaccination.

With the exception of the far right, all other parties supported the proposal, which was adopted by 137 votes to 33.

“It is accepted by [nepieciešamo] majority, “said Doris Boures, second president of the National Council.
To date, 72% of the population have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, which is in line with the European Union (EU) average but a few percentage points lower than in the region’s neighboring countries of Italy and France.

After the initial introductory phase, those who refuse to be vaccinated will face fines of up to € 3,600 from mid-March.

The government originally wanted the requirement to apply to everyone over the age of 14, but now it will only apply to adults, with exceptions for pregnant women and people with medical problems.

The far-right Austrian Freedom Party showed the strongest opposition to the idea in Parliament. Its leader, Herbert Kickl, said the innovations “pave the way for totalitarianism in Austria.”

Cyclus has promised to refuse to be vaccinated, despite the new law.

“Vaccination is an opportunity for our society to gain lasting and permanent freedom, because the virus must not further restrict us,” the center-right Chancellor Carl Nechammer told reporters before the parliamentary debate.

Green Health Minister Wolfgang Mikstein urged all citizens to take a critical look at “myths about vaccination” during the debate, and insisted that “all the evidence suggests that the vaccines available in Austria are safe”.

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