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Austria makes Covid vaccines mandatory — RT World News

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Austria makes Covid vaccines mandatory — RT World News

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The country’s parliament has made vaccination compulsory for all citizens, those who resist face fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,000)

An overwhelming majority of Austrian lawmakers voted on Thursday to force their citizens to get a Covid-19 vaccine, with those who refuse facing fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,000).

After 137 MPs voted for compulsory vaccination and only 33 against, the bill is now heading to the upper house to be debated and approved. As Austria’s ruling parties – a coalition of the center-right People’s Party and the Greens – hold a majority in this chamber, its passage is virtually guaranteed.

The right-wing Freedom Party was the only party to oppose the mandate in parliament.

Austria makes Covid vaccines mandatory — RT World News

 | Breaking News Updates

Due to come into force on February 1, the bill will require all Austrian adults – except pregnant women or people exempted for medical reasons – to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Fines for those who refuse will begin to be applied from mid-March, and non-compliant citizens will eventually be hit with fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,000).

The law will empower authorities to maintain a database of each citizen’s vaccination status and the expiry date of that status, which can be viewed by officials. The law is to remain in place until 2024.

Compulsory vaccination was first proposed by the Austrian government in November, and the announcement sparked mass protests. At the time, Austria had one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, which has since exceeded the EU average. At present, just over 70% of Austrians are fully vaccinated, according to figures from the World Health Organization.

However, protests have continued, with thousands of people taking to the streets of Vienna over the weekend to demand the law be scrapped. Other events are expected this weekend following his visit.

Austria has had a number of tough measures in place since November in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but none have apparently worked. Despite the introduction of a lockdown for the unvaccinated and a nationwide mask mandate – both enforced by police and stiff fines – Austria recorded more Covid-19 cases on Thursday than at any time during the pandemic to date. Deaths, however, have dropped dramatically since December.

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Austria makes Covid vaccines mandatory — RT World News

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