Compulsory vaccination ends in Austria

The Austrian government has decided to abolish the compulsory Covid-19 vaccination mandate that has been in place since February. The law and the associated penalties were never applied anyway. Does it make sense to rely on voluntary vaccination?

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Kleine Zeitung (AT) /

Plan missed the mark

The law has deepened social rifts, writes the Kleine Zeitung:

“After seven months, the controversial instrument has finally been classified as unsuitable. The realisation comes late; references to viral mutations fall short of the mark. ... The logic of punishment did not work. Playing groups off against each other - the good vaccinated on the one side, the unvaccinated dissenters on the other - may help to win elections. But if what you want is common-sense, solidarity-based action this has the opposite effect. And burying compulsory vaccination is also an admission: it did not make anyone get vaccinated who was not planning to do so anyway. On the contrary, it exacerbated divisions in society.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Useful tool for the next wave squandered

The abolition of compulsory vaccination comes at the worst possible time, says Der Standard:

“The law should have been left in place. And for precisely the reason the government itself has been putting forward for months: because it's better to have a dormant law that you revive when needed than to waste months trying to reintroduce it. ... Compulsory vaccination could have saved lives if it had come in a timely, forceful manner. But the government allowed it to become a blunt instrument that cost time, money and social harmony. One might almost be glad that it is now being laid to rest. If the next wave were not imminent.”