On Thursday, the Austrian Parliament finally decided the end of the compulsory vaccination. The corresponding motion was passed unanimously. Next week, the Bundesrat still has to give the green light. There is no doubt about it.
The ÖVP and the Greens state in their explanatory statement that the repeal is in no way intended to diminish the contribution of vaccination to the management of the pandemic, particularly concerning reducing severe courses. It is merely refraining from a legal obligation, the parliamentary correspondence states.
Health Minister Johannes Rauch recalled the changed situation and stressed proportionality. Now, something is abolished, “which does not work and is not proportionate.” Instead, he said, the focus is on voluntariness because vaccination is an achievement of science and helps against severe courses.
Looking ahead to the fall, Rauch clarified that evaluations had been underway for weeks to determine what works and does not. The point, he said, is to protect vulnerable groups while allowing them to live with the virus. He said the variant management plan is a reasonable and defensible way to do that. Rauch said it is currently being finalized and will soon be adopted by the government.
There have been some adjustments in the Epidemic Law, or COVID-19 Measures Law, which include changes for the vaccination passport, in addition to the recent ordinance authorization (the Minister of Health can now issue traffic restrictions on his own).
However, this is mostly privacy-related: Vaccination certificates will no longer be stored as PDFs in the e-vaccination passport in the future but will only be available as a link. A majority also passed this regulation.
- source: heute.at/picture: pixabay.com