Austria on Thursday became the first European country to approve a sweeping law for the entire population that would require a vaccine against Corona.
Despite the harsh demonstrations in the streets in recent weeks, parliament has approved the bill by a majority of 137 to 33, and in fact any adult who is eligible for the vaccine but refuses to be vaccinated will be fined heavily and may even be prosecuted.
Only defined population groups can avoid this: pregnant women, people with a medical reason that prevents them, or those who are considered to be recovering from the virus for six months since being infected.
Although the law will become official only after it passes the upper house of parliament and is signed by the president, these are hurdles that are considered only formal.
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"This is the way to get out of a state of closure and then reopen and come back for goodness sake," said Health Minister Wolfgang Mukstein.
The law will take effect on February 1, but punitive measures will only begin in March.
Those who refuse to be vaccinated after receiving a warning from the authorities will first be fined 600 euros.
They will then be scheduled to be vaccinated and if they do not show up on time, they will be fined again.
In the end, the fines can reach 3,600 euros in the case and the procedure rises a step to the criminal level.
The law will remain in force at least until the end of January 2024, when expert opinions will be submitted every three months to measure the success of the move.
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