By Matthew Roscoe • 30 November 2021 • 13:04
AUSTRIA’S Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein and Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler confirmed today (November 30) that the country is planning to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory – a measure which could come into effect as early as February 1.
Before that date, a first draft of the proposal is set to be presented on December 6 and will then undergo a four-week review process.
Speaking at today’s government press conference, Mückstein urged people in Austria not to wait until the law comes into force, but to get their vaccine as soon as possible. Edtstadler also said that this was indeed an “encroachment on fundamental rights”, but that this was itself judged by the ECJ (Court of Justice of the European Union) and, given the situation, justified.
Austria’s Health Minister said that the country is currently in “a very difficult phase as far as the pandemic is concerned” and believes that the vaccines, which he described as “probably the best-studied medicine worldwide” are the “only way out.”
He also stated that “the vaccination works, the vaccination is safe.”
Mückstein said that the vaccines are the “only way the country can get closer to avoiding a fifth and sixth wave [of the virus] or further lockdowns.”
Edtstadler said that further talks would be held and that she would remain in constant dialogue with the experts: “We did not want this, we did not want compulsory vaccination, but the situation is dramatic when we look at the intensive care units.”
However, she did stress the importance of creating the legal prerequisites “to ensure that compulsory vaccination is upheld”.
“Vaccination is the only exit from the pandemic,” she said.
Interestingly, the European Court of Human Rights has also ruled that interference with fundamental rights is justified in this case, according to Austrian newspaper, Krone.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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