The Austrian Parliament on Thursday voted in favor of the general obligation to vaccinate adults, which will apply from 1 February.
The fines for those who do not comply reach up to 3,600 euros. The Austrian government's proposal to vaccinate all citizens over the age of 18, with the exception of pregnant women, those who should not be vaccinated for medical reasons, and those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months, was approved by 137 votes to 33. 13 abstentions.
On February 3, it is expected to be approved by the Federal Council of the country. In addition to the ruling coalition parties, many Social Democrat (SPO) and Liberal NEOS lawmakers voted in favor of the general vaccination requirement.
In the first phase, the authorities will inform the citizens by letter and from mid-March, the sample checks on the implementation of the measure will begin. Anyone who can not prove that he was vaccinated will have to prove it later in writing or pay a fine of 600 euros.
If the measure does not have the desired effect, the competent authorities will make vaccination appointments for the citizens and those who do not come will be punished with a fine, which will reach 3,600 euros. A fine may be imposed on the same person up to four times a year, while the content of the general obligation may be revised in the future, if required by epidemiological conditions.
At present 71.6% of the population in Austria is fully vaccinated.
During today's meeting, Health Minister Wolfgang Mukstein stressed that vaccines are safe and we need a high rate of vaccination in order to limit the spread of the virus. Referring to the false news about vaccines, he called on the citizens “to challenge the myths about vaccination”.
“Terrified”, “surprised”, “shocked” and “shocked” on the other hand said the leader of the far right FPO Herbert Kikl and spoke of “health communism”, provoking reactions from Green MPs.
Lawmakers from the ruling Greens party voted in favor of the mandate, with the exception of Eva Ernst-Tzic, who abstained because she said she did not want to vote on the proposal. “Compulsory vaccination, which none of us wanted, has unfortunately become necessary,” said SPO leader Pamela Reddy-Wagner.
Earlier in the day, the Austrian government announced a vaccination incentive package, with a raffle and each winning ticket corresponding to a vaccination winning a € 500 gift voucher.