EU state flip flops on mandatory vaccination — Analysis

The Czech Republic has reversed course on a previous administration’s Covid vaccination requirement

Czech Republic has dropped a mandatory vaccine program that was meant to protect those aged 60 or older and certain sector workers. The plan was scrapped by a new prime Minister after protests.

While a vaccine rule set by a previous government was set to take effect in March, ex-PM Andrej Babis has since been replaced by a new ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who now says the policy won’t be implemented after all.

“We’ve agreed that vaccination against Covid-19 won’t be mandatory,”Fiala stated Wednesday that approximately 90% of the people who would have fallen under this requirement had been immunized.

UK’s Johnson scraps ‘Plan B’ Covid measures amid Omicron spread

Prior administrations had issued the mandate, but it was repealed in December amid an increase in Omicron-related cases. Deaths and hospitalizations only saw a brief uptick before falling, however – in line with evidence the mutation produces milder symptoms than previous strains. This rule should have been applied to all elderly people, including healthcare workers and firefighters. 

In protest of the mandatory vaccination measures, hundreds gathered in Prague earlier this month. Similar demonstrations were held elsewhere in Europe. Only 63% of Czechs have been fully immunized. This is below the European Union average at 69.4%.

The decision to scrap the requirement came the same day UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that Britain’s Omicron surge had reached its peak, announcing that the country’s masking rules and Covid-19 ‘passport’ system would end next week. The government instead will simply “suggest”Although residents are not required to wear masks when they go out, “no longer criminalize anyone who chooses not to wear them.”

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