Western Europe

Austria becomes first EU member to impose compulsory vaccination

14:29, 19 November 2021
Austria becomes first EU member to impose compulsory vaccination Photo: twitter.com/austriainrf

Besides, the government introduces a new lockdown, the fourth in Austria since the pandemic outbreak.

Chancellor of Austria Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday that the government had decided to impose mandatory vaccination on the country’s residents from February 1. He added that the country also enters another lockdown starting on Monday.

The decision was pronounced during a press conference in Tyrol after a discussion with Austrian regional authorities.

The incoming lockdown will last for 20 days for the whole population of Austria. A similar measure has earlier been imposed on unvaccinated citizens.

“We have to face reality. Despite months of persuasion we failed to convince enough residents to get the vaccine. Increasing vaccination rates is the only way to quit this vicious circle,” the Chancellor said in a statement.

The conservative politician has also mentioned that the country’s hospitals were overcharged.

Since the announcement, the number of inscriptions to receive jabs has considerably grown. Around 66% of Austria’s population has been vaccinated which is slightly above the EU average and the second-lowest result in Western Europe. Schallenberg has earlier dubbed the rates “shamefully low”.

On Thursday, Austria recorded 15,145 new cases, therefore, setting a new daily record.

Only several countries in the world have imposed mandatory vaccination on their adult population, including Turkmenistan, Indonesia, and the Vatican.