According to the Austrian news agency APA, the Austrian government passed a decision on the abolition of the obligation on Thursday and submitted a motion to that effect at an extraordinary meeting of the lower house (Nationalrat). The proposal is expected to be approved by the Austrian parliament in July, writes the Portfolio.
The head of the ministry’s reasoning is that “no one vaccinates themselves just because it is required by law”. On Wednesday, only 140 people were vaccinated across Austria. Incidentally, the government had already suspended the relevant legislation in March.
Rauch pointed out that people should not be forced but persuaded of the need for vaccination, and this can only be done on a voluntary basis.
Austria made vaccination against the coronavirus compulsory in early February. Under the previous provisions, those who refused to take the vaccine could be fined up to € 3,600 (HUF 1.4 million) from 15 March.
Austria has pioneered the introduction of a universal vaccination obligation in the European Union, while other EU member states have chosen to make it compulsory only for certain age groups and occupational groups.
The government suspended the regulation because it did not live up to expectations. Rauch also added that the issue of compulsory vaccination has deeply divided families and businesses as well. At a time when many are worried about high inflation and the war in Ukraine, society needs solidarity instead of division, the minister stressed.