Will Austria scrap mandatory vaccination already?
Mandatory vaccination has been in force in Austria since 5 February. Now influential provincial governors are calling on the government to repeal the corresponding legislation. Chancellor Karl Nehammer is already backing away from the measure on the grounds that the Omicron variant causes milder symptoms than earlier forms of the virus. An expert commission is to make the final decision.
Mandatory vaccination and the Covid lottery were a short-lived adventure, notes the Kleine Zeitung:
“Just one week after mandatory vaccination came into effect the Chancellor is already preparing to end it. Karl Nehammer is also no longer ruling out the possibility that it will be suspended. ... And the vaccination lottery, which was launched in the final hours before the corresponding resolution was passed in parliament, is also off the agenda. ... According to the bleary-eyed theory behind the lottery, it was supposed to make mandatory vaccination more palatable, just as mandatory vaccination was to make the fourth lockdown more palatable. In the end neither worked as a sedative. On the contrary, they provoked anger and ridicule.”
Journalist Johannes Huber cautions in his blog dieSubstanz.at that such measures should be the result of careful deliberation and not decided on the basis of the latest figures:
“The moment you realise that the hospitals are dangerously full, it's too late to start imposing compulsory vaccination. ... That is perhaps one of the weaknesses of compulsory vaccination: it is geared towards the unforeseeable. Perhaps at some point we will be very glad that more people were vaccinated, or perhaps it will turn out to have been unnecessary. But the governors of the provinces, who apparently make their decisions on the basis of daily hospital figures, should have realised this long ago.”