Vaccination “compulsory” in Austria from February, says chancellor

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehamer said on Sunday that Austria will make vaccination against the coronavirus mandatory for adults in early February, Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehamer said on Sunday, aware of the “sensitive” nature of this earlier in Europe that threatens society. divides. ,

“According to the plan, we are going to make vaccination mandatory in early February”, the conservative head of government, who leads this country along with environmentalists, said at a news conference in Vienna.

Throughout the week, the project was hotly debated in Parliament, while about 78.5% of the eligible population has a complete immunization program at this stage.

“It is a sensitive project” but “according to the constitution”, which requires “an adaptation phase” that allows the vaccine to be administered “by mid-March”, he elaborated.

On Saturday, 27,000 people were also protesting in the Austrian capital against the controversial move, which was accused of violating personal liberties.

“Later, there will be an investigation” and not being vaccinated would be a “crime” that would be liable to financial “fine”, which would vary between 600 and 3,600 euros in the event of a repeat offence.

For a time considered, vaccination of minors above the age of 14 has been skipped and only adults will be concerned, the leader said while introducing the bill, which should be adopted by parliament on Thursday.

An increasing number of countries require a vaccination pass to practice certain occupations, population categories or activities. But the mandatory anti-Covid vaccination for all remains an exception.

It came into force in Ecuador, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Indonesia and Micronesia.

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In Germany, a similar project, championed by the new Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz, may be debated in the Bundestag in late January.

The Austrian government allows this rare measure to achieve mass immunity, according to the advice of its experts, due to overcrowding of hospitals and its desire to achieve a vaccination rate of 90%.

It has a large majority in the chamber: in addition to the Conservatives and Greens, leaders of the Social Democratic and Liberal parties support the text. In the name of protecting individual liberty, only the extreme right opposes it.

Exceptions are provided for pregnant women and all persons who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

The entry of these exceptions into the National Register of Vaccinations will be possible from April at the earliest, warned the body responsible for the collection.

On Sunday, the Central European country’s 5.8 million residents, of whom 7.4 million are eligible for vaccination, had an up-to-date vaccination pass, according to government data.

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