Austria suspends mandatory vaccination after one month

Vienna, Mar 9 (EFE).- The Austrian government on Wednesday suspended a Covid-19 vaccine mandate just one month after it was implemented.

The suspension, initially for at least three months, was decided by the cabinet after a report by a panel of experts found there was “no reason to implement compulsory vaccination.”

“The commission recommends suspending compulsory vaccination until its next evaluation,” which will take place in three months’ time, health minister Johannes Rauch said at his first press conference after taking office on Monday.

He explained that in order to make a “final decision,” “more evidence and scientific knowledge about the duration of the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines, as well as about the virus itself,” is needed.

“On the other hand, mandatory vaccination is also a question of timing,” he added, stressing that the experts’ report “clearly shows that vaccination remains the means by which we can control the pandemic in the long term.”

Minister of Constitutional Affairs Karoline Edtstadler pointed out that in the face of the Omicron variant, compulsory vaccination does not meet the principle of “proportionality” between the benefits it brings to society and the limitations on individual freedoms required by the Constitution.

The law will not be abolished for the time being, Edstadler said, as “it allows us to react quickly and immediately to the virus, because we don’t know what else the virus has planned for us.” EFE


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