Failed Experiment: Austria Suspends ‘Not Proportionate’ Forced Vaccination Requirement

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - FEBRUARY 11: Anti-coronavirus lockdown measures and anti-vaccination pro
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After months of threatening to enforce the measure with fines and possibly even imprisonment, Austria has suspended its regime of forced vaccination.

After months of protests and a number of political controversies, Austria’s regime of forced vaccination has been suspended.

Austrian authorities had been hinting at dumping the measure since they announced the relaxation of the country’s “Corona Apartheid” measures against the unjabbed in February, but have now confirmed the regime’s suspension due to it being “not proportionate” to the threat posed by the Omicron variant of the Chinese Coronavirus poses.

According to a report by Kronen Zeitung, the announcement that the measure was being suspended was made on Wednesday, just days before fines of up to €3,600 were to be introduced for those who didn’t get a jab.

Karoline Edtstadler, who serves as Austria’s Constitutional Minister, explained that the measure was being suspended “because there are many arguments that the encroachment on fundamental rights is not justified”.

However, while forced vaccination might be gone for now, both Edstadler and Health Minister Johannes Rauch emphasised that the law was not being taken entirely off of the books, and could be implemented at any time should the government view it as necessary.

Austria was one of the first European countries to threaten its population with a vaccine mandate, telling residents to either get jabbed or face legal consequences back in November of last year.

Measures forcing the jab were then officially introduced in early February, though for a variety of reasons, penalties for infringing on the new rules were not to be enforced until the middle of this month

However, despite the threats, the regime of forced vaccination did not seem to have a significant positive effect on vaccine uptake.

Kronen Zeitung report in February claimed that the mandate had no positive effect on the number of people getting jabbed in Vienna, with vaccination figures even appearing to decrease in the capital with the introduction of the measure.

This claim now appears to be backed up by Der Spiegel, who reports that forced jabs had “practically no effect in Austria”, saying only around 26,000 individuals got vaccinated against the disease since the beginning of February while the rule was in force.

Indeed, figures from the country’s health ministry suggest that just under a million people remain unvaccinated against the Chinese Coronavirus in defiance of the mandating order, roughly 13 per cent of the German-speaking country’s population.

Meanwhile, throughout the entirety of the mandatory vaccination ordeal, protests against the measure continued to occur throughout the country, with thousands taking to the streets to demand the measure be scrapped, despite harassment from state authorities.

The country also played host to at least one demonstration mirroring the Freedom Convoy movement in Canada, with a parade of vehicles making its way through the Vienna city-centre last month despite the protest being ruled illegal by authorities.


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