In many places around the world, COVID vaccine mandates were put into effect.
The extent of these mandates varied. In some cases, people were looking at fines if they refused to take COVID shots.
Other scenarios had people banned from entering grocery stores, subject to losing their jobs, and looking down the barrel of additional serious penalties for refusing to get vaccinated.
However, mass uprisings against COVID vaccine mandates have occurred. Many people around the world made their opposition to these mandates known, noting their infringements on individual choice and liberties.
Now, Austria has determined to get rid of its COVID vaccine requirement altogether.
The Fall of COVID Vaccine Mandates in Austria
On February 5, 2022, the Central European nation started the mandate; however, the official enforcement of the edict commenced on March 15, 2022.
Yet, on Wednesday, June 22, Austria decided to stop the COVID vaccine mandate altogether. The country’s view is that the mandate is not only at odds with constitutional law, but it’s also a driving cause of “rifts” amongst individuals.
Specifically, Karoline Edtstadler, Austria’s constitutional affairs minister, explained compelling arguments exist that this mandate’s violation of essential rights is not warranted.
"The health minister, Johannes Rauch, said the mandate had not led to an increase in vaccinations, but had 'widened rifts in the population'.”https://t.co/wowxI3i5L0
— Jennifer Nuzzo, DrPH (@JenniferNuzzo) June 24, 2022
However, she later went on to explain the COVID vaccine requirement could eventually make a comeback within the next 12 weeks if the country’s officials advise it.
The decision to roll back the requirement was likewise driven by the nation’s expert panel that oversees constitutional and public health aspects of the mandate.
The June 22 halt of COVID vaccine requirements occurred less than a week before unvaccinated Austrians would have begun facing government-imposed fines.
The Problem With Force and Threats
Many people have rejoiced amid the news that Austria won’t be fining and penalizing its people who fail to take COVID vaccines.
The nation’s government also conceded that mandates aren’t driving up vaccination rates. On top of this, Austria now acknowledges the only feasible means of getting people vaccinated against COVID is via voluntary means of the individual.
"No one is getting vaccinated because of the compulsory vaccination. We can only achieve this [vaccination], when it is on a voluntary basis." After suspending vaccine and mask mandates, Austria now abolishes compulsory vaccination. https://t.co/Kjjs5umZAM
— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) June 24, 2022
When COVID vaccine mandates first emerged, they were met with mass anger, resentment, and determination to resist. More often than not, when people feel threatened and backed into a corner, they’re less inclined to want to acquiesce to demands.
Many Austrians can rest easy, knowing they’re in the clear as far COVID vaccine requirements go.