Austria's COVID vaccine law comes into force amid resistance

February 1, 2022 3:23 pm

[Source: BBC]

A new law comes into force in Austria that makes vaccination against COVID-19 compulsory for anyone over-18.

Several countries have introduced mandates for the elderly or medical staff, but this is the first nation in Europe to adopt such sweeping measures.

Lou Moser, a ceramic artist who lives south of Vienna, is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and neither is her husband, Gus. They strongly disagree with Austria’s new vaccine mandate.

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Austria’s government says vaccinations are effective at combating severe disease, and that the law is needed to prevent future lockdowns. Karoline Edtstadler, minister for the EU and Constitution, says the government is “very aware that it is really a strong step and really hard measure”.

She says, though, that mandatory vaccination is an “interference with human rights”. “But in this case, this interference can be justified,” she adds. “We have the need to get out of the pandemic and we know that vaccination is the only way to get out of it and to get back to a normal life.”