Austria suspends compulsory vaccination law

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Image of a person receiving a Covid-19 vaccination. Credit: junta de andalucia

Austria have announced that it suspends the compulsory vaccination law that came into force last month, which was an unprecedented measure in the European Union (EU).

Karoline Edtstadler, Federal Minister said: “We have decided to follow the advice of the expert commission” and “suspend” the text, which is not “proportional” to the danger of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, Minister at a press conference in Vienna.

We don’t see a need for mandatory vaccination at this time, given the current variant, which causes less severe symptoms than the previous dominant variant, Delta.

“There are currently many arguments to say that this violation of fundamental rights is not justified.”

The law, which come into force on February 5th, was introduced to great opposition from the 9 million inhabitants of the country. The law required that everyone over the age of 18 had to be vaccinated, although those who had been infected in the last 180 days, pregnant mothers and those with medical conditions were exempt.

Prior to the introduction of the law, those who weren’t vaccinated had their movement severely restricted. Those who failed to get vaccinated after the law’s introduction faced fines of up to 3,600 euros.

Austria suffered more than 15,000 deaths since the pandemic began resulting in the compulsory vaccination law, which it now suspends.

The controls were due to start in mid-March, with penalties ranging from 600 to 3,600 euros ($650 to $3,900). The Alpine country has suffered more than 15,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter 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