Covid jabs become mandatory in 1st EU country — Analysis

The obligatory inoculation of over-18s formally got here into drive in Austria on Saturday

A brand new legislation has come into drive in Austria, making it obligatory for everybody over the age of 18 to be vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19. The measure, carried out from Saturday, means Austria is the primary nation in Europe to mandate inoculation in opposition to Covid-19 for all adults.

Whereas a number of nations have mandated the vaccine for medical employees, care staff, or individuals over a sure age, Austria is first within the EU to broaden the measure to cowl all the grownup inhabitants.

Regardless of the measures coming into drive, authorities is not going to begin checking residents for his or her vaccination standing till mid-March. Fines vary from €600 to €3,600 for many who refuse to get vaccinated. Medical exemptions apply; pregnant ladies are additionally excluded from the measure.

The mandate expires in January 2024, however it might finish earlier if the pandemic permits.

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Austria’s conservative chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, introduced the measure in November as Covid-19 spiked once more, placing hospitals beneath additional stress.

On the time of the announcement, Austria had one of many lowest vaccination charges in western Europe, with solely 65% inoculated in opposition to the lethal virus in response to knowledge from Johns Hopkins College. As of February 2, over 75% of Austrians at the moment are absolutely vaccinated.

The measure had been delayed by the legislative process. It was attributable to come into drive on Tuesday, however solely cleared its final parliamentary hurdle on Thursday and signed into legislation by Van der Bellen on Friday.

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