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Austria: Prison for the unvaccinated

The first details about the planned mandatory vaccination law in Austria are circulating: Heavy fines and imprisonment if necessary.

Published: November 30, 2021, 9:44 am

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    Vienna

    Various details have been leaked about the planned mandatory vaccination in the Alpine country. On Tuesday the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Constitution and the opposition will meet for a round table on the issue.

    Experts from science, constitutional law, health, the constitutional service and the bioethics commission are expected to participate in the meeting. To everyone’s surprise, the rightwing FPÖ will not take part.

    Time is of the essence however, because the draft law is to be examined in the week starting from December 6. The law is to apply for a limited period of three years from February 1, 2022.

    There are still no concrete plans for fixed booster shots but these could be regulated by ordinances. The penalties that are currently on the table for violations are nevertheless frightening.

    Health workers are only the first victims of coercion. The draft law threatens nursing staff and doctors with jail if they do not get vaccinated. The draft in the National Council could already be resolved by Friday announcing a general Corona vaccination obligation or the risk of imprisonment.

    The list of those professions that will have to submit to compulsion is long. It affects doctors, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, midwives and paramedics. But even music therapists, therapeutic masseurs and psychologists face severe penalties. Interns are also affected. Critical medical professionals warn against the dangerous measure. A total of 15 professional groups are included in this incredible draft law.

    The health pass is now only valid for 7 months, announced by Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) on Friday.

    The only exceptions the government wants to tolerate are pregnancy or medical reasons confirmed by a medical professional. Those who do not comply face a fine of 3 600 euros and those who cannot pay this will be jailed for 4 weeks instead.

    The vaccination subscription is also already priced in: There is a fine of 1 450 euros for refusing any further booster vaccination – or 4 weeks imprisonment. Even those who have recovered will face these draconian measures.

    For months now the hospitals have been filling up with “vaccination breakthroughs”. At the beginning of the month, every third Corona intensive care patient in Upper Austria was “fully immunized” – a tripling of the numbers in less than three weeks.

    Austria is the second European country after the Vatican and the first EU country with a general corona vaccination requirement.

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