VIENNA (AP) — Austria ’s parliament voted Thursday to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for adults from Feb. 1, the first of its kind in Europe , with maximum potential fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,000) for people who don't comply after a series of reminders.
Officials say the mandate is necessary because vaccination rates remain too low in the small Alpine country. They say it will ensure that Austria’s hospitals are not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein, speaking in parliament Thursday afternoon, called the measure a “big, and, for the first time, also lasting step” in Austria’s fight against the pandemic.
ADVERTISEMENT“This is how we can manage to escape the cycle of opening and closing, of lockdowns,” he said, noting that it’s about fighting not just omicron, but any future variants that might emerge. “That is why this law is so urgently needed right now.”Read more: Ralph Boardman »
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Covid slaves. When the people realise that it has never been about C-19. Bravo to the people of Austria and other European countries who stand up against this tyranny... First of many. Good that you take the leadership. It runs in the family……. A forced mandate by an Austrian authority. Can't see any historical similarities here...
Wish we could do that in the midst of an obvious slow moving tragedy, one that has now lasted 2 years. the nazis are back in austria. So sad.
Ohio reports 20,483 more COVID-19 cases: daily coronavirus update for Wednesday, Jan. 19A total of 7,119,018 Ohioans have received at least one vaccination, about 65% of those old enough to receive a shot. I'm not surprised the numbers are so high in Ohio. Go in any grocery store, maybe 1 out of 10 people wearing a mask. Restaurants and bars are full. Ohio sucks.
Europe considers new COVID-19 strategy: accepting the virusPandemic to endemic? With one of Europe ’s highest vaccination rates, Spain is laying the groundwork for a different COVID-19 playbook. The idea is to move from crisis mode to control mode, approaching the virus in much the same way countries deal with flu. “Just fucking go back to work and/or die” Well-written, well-researched, and comprehensive piece. Thank you ! Ah yes the “American Strategy”, well played Europe.
COVID-19: Europe considers new strategy of accepting the virusThe idea to deal with COVID-19 in Europe is to move from crisis mode to control mode, approaching the virus in much the same way countries deal with flu or measles. Isn’t that something?
As NHL plans to cease asymptomatic testing, Blackhawks’ COVID-19 issues also subsidingOnly three players — Kirby Dach, Dylan Strome and Brett Connolly — and zero staff members are left on the Hawks’ COVID list, and all three may be eligible to return by Friday.
Calif. medical workers fight to bridge the Latino COVID-19 vaccination gap Health care workers in California’s predominantly Latino neighborhoods are fighting to bridge the COVID-19 vaccination gap in their community. Meanwhile, concerns grow over the continued low vaccination rates among Latinos in the state.
What should you do if you’re still testing positive for COVID-19 after day 10?What to know about isolation, masking and more if you're still testing positive late into a COVID-19 infection. I know we all probably might have heard about Bitcoin but don't know how it works, I tried it in a week ago by a man who recommended me to Derrick_Jones39 on Twitter he guides me through and i made a return of $10500 after a week of trading, connect with him TODAYshow 7 Signs of weak immune system How to know if you have weak immune system to avoid any complications TODAYshow Get back to work and quit making excuses
New Zealand says it won't use lockdowns when omicron spreads Officials say the mandate is necessary because vaccination rates remain too low in the small Alpine country. They say it will ensure that Austria’s hospitals are not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein, speaking in parliament Thursday afternoon, called the measure a “big, and, for the first time, also lasting step” in Austria’s fight against the pandemic. ADVERTISEMENT “This is how we can manage to escape the cycle of opening and closing, of lockdowns,” he said, noting that it’s about fighting not just omicron, but any future variants that might emerge. “That is why this law is so urgently needed right now.” The Austrian government first announced the plan for a universal vaccine mandate at the same time it imposed a since-lifted lockdown in November, and amid concern that Austria’s vaccination rate was comparatively low for Western Europe. As of Thursday, about 72% of the population of 8.9 million was considered fully vaccinated. The measure passed easily in parliament after a fierce debate. Chancellor Karl Nehammer’s governing coalition, made up of his conservative Austrian People’s Party and the Greens, worked with two of the three opposition parties in parliament on the plan. The far-right Freedom Party vehemently opposed it. “I’m appalled, I’m stunned, I’m shaken and I’m shocked,” said Freedom Party leader Herbert Kickl, calling the law “nothing more than a huge blow to the freedoms of Austrians.” Speakers from the four other parties criticized what they said were the Freedom Party’s deliberate attempts to stoke anti-vaccine sentiments in Austria, accusing it of spreading deliberate falsehoods about the safety and effectiveness of available vaccines. Pamela Rendi-Wagner, head of the opposition Social Democrats, said the vaccine mandate is something “that we all didn’t want,” but that it “has unfortunately become necessary to close this vaccination gap that still exists in Austria.” Once the mandate goes into effect in February, authorities will write to every household to inform them of the new rules. From mid-March, police will start checking people’s vaccination status during routine checks; people who can’t produce proof of vaccination will be asked in writing to do so, and will be fined up to 600 euros ($685) if they don’t. If authorities judge the country’s vaccination progress still to be insufficient, Nehammer said they would then send reminders to people who remain unvaccinated. If even that doesn’t work, people would be sent a vaccination appointment and fined if they don’t keep it. Officials hope they won’t need to use the last measure. Fines could reach 3,600 euros if people contest their punishment and full proceedings are opened. Austria’s governing coalition also announced Thursday that 1.4 billion euros ($1.59 billion) will be invested in efforts and incentives to encourage unvaccinated people to get the jab. Of that sum, 1 billion euros will go toward a national vaccine lottery beginning March 15, while the remaining 400 million euros will be directed to towns that reach a certain high vaccination rate. The mandate is supposed to remain in place until the end of January 2024. An expert commission will report to the government and parliament every three months on vaccination progress. The government originally intended for the mandate to apply to all residents 14 and over, but changed that to 18 during consultations with political opponents and others. Since the vaccine mandate was initially announced, the measure has led to regular large-scale demonstrations in Vienna, some of which have drawn upwards of 40,000 protesters. Like other protests against coronavirus measures across Europe, the Vienna demonstrations have drawn vaccine skeptics and right-wing extremists alike, and officials have warned that the protests are radicalizing. Some other European countries have introduced vaccine mandates for specific professional or age groups. Greece, for example, makes COVID-19 vaccination obligatory for everyone aged 60 and over, as that age group accounts for the majority of deaths and hospitalizations in intensive care units. Austria’s neighbor Germany is considering a mandate for all, but it’s not yet clear whether, when and in what form that will go ahead. ___