From February, all adults in the country must be vaccinated. On the one hand, there are fines, but on the other hand, vouchers.
Austria is the first country in the EU to impose compulsory vaccination against the corona virus. This is now definitive after the parliamentary decision on Thursday evening. The obligation applies from February and applies to everyone aged 18 and over.
Anyone who does not want to be pricked despite the obligation will soon have to pay a fine of up to 3600 euros. The Austrian National Council decided with the votes of the governing Conservatives and the Greens, but also with the support of the opposition Social Democrats and the Liberals. The obligation applies to everyone over the age of 18 from February.
Exceptions are provided
There are exceptions for pregnant women or people who cannot be immunized for proven medical reasons. However, the broad approval in Parliament in Vienna should not hide the fact that compulsory vaccination in Austria is very controversial. For weeks, tens of thousands protested against it.
The opposition right-wing populist FPÖ even claimed that the country was now a dictatorship. Level-headed people warn that mass violations of compulsory vaccination could overburden the police and the judiciary.
A million people affected
After all, around a quarter of the people in Austria are not vaccinated, so well over a million citizens are potentially affected by the measure. In addition, the question arises as to whether such a duty corresponds to the constitution at all. The Supreme Court will soon deal with this question.
Carrot and stick enforcement
Compulsory vaccination is the stick with which the Austrian government wants to drive up the vaccination rate – which, by the way, is higher than that in Switzerland. To this end, she also takes the carrot, and massively so. Anyone who gets vaccinated gets cash. Austria is having around one billion euros distributed to vaccinated people via a lottery in the form of vouchers. It should be ensured that this money goes to local shops or restaurants and not to foreign internet trade.
The corona pandemic has hit Austria hard. It was only a month ago that it laboriously got through its fourth lockdown. This is one of the reasons why Austria is now the only country in Europe, alongside the Vatican, to introduce general vaccination requirements for adults. Provided the highest court does not stop this duty at the last minute.