Austria Imposes Vaccine Mandate For All. A First In Europe
Only days after announcing a lockdown for the unvaccinated, Austria is going into full lockdown once again as cases continue to rise, a report by Reuters reveals.
The country's government is also making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory as of February 2022, making it the first country in Europe to impose a compulsory vaccination mandate over its entire adult population.
Austria reenters lockdown and makes vaccination mandatory
The lockdown will last a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of 20 days, according to Austria’s conservative chancellor Alexander Schallenberg. The whole of the country’s population will also be ordered to get fully vaccinated by Feb. 1, its government announced today, Nov. 19.
The new mandate makes Austria the first country in Europe, and the fourth in the world, to introduce a compulsory vaccination mandate for all of its adult population. Indonesia, Turkmenistan, and Micronesia all introduced mandates stating that their adults must be vaccinated. A large number of countries, including Canada, Italy, and the U.S. have made it compulsory for government employees to be vaccinated.
Singapore has taken a different stance. The island country recently decreed that anyone who had opted out of taking a COVID-19 would no longer be covered by the public health service in the case of serious infection and would have to foot their own bill.
Earlier this week, Austria announced an unprecedented lockdown for the unvaccinated whereby anyone who had been vaccinated could leave their home, but anyone who hadn’t could not. The World Health Organization recently warned that almost 2 million cases of COVID-19 were reported in Europe last week, which is the most in the region since the pandemic began.
Are vaccination mandates common?
Mandatory vaccination has been a relatively common occurrence throughout history. As a report by the BBC points out, mandatory vaccination began only a few years after the first smallpox vaccine was developed by Edward Jenner in 1796.
In fact, the same report points out the fact that, throughout history, there is a pattern of populations being widely accepting of mandatory vaccination before a new vaccination comes along, sending a portion of the population into an uproar. The U.S., for example, has had vaccination mandates in place since 1970, and Italy requires children to be vaccinated against a range of diseases such as measles, mumps, and hepatitis B.
With 65 percent of adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe. The new mandate, therefore, will likely help to greatly reduce the incidence of the disease in the country.
This was a breaking story and was updated as new information emerged.
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