The Austrian National Council (Lower House of Parliament) has approved this Thursday, with 137 votes in favor and 33 against, to introduce compulsory vaccination against the coronavirus for all citizens of the country from February this year, reports the media local ORF. The measure, which has already caused a lot of controversy in society, it also provides for the organization of a lottery to promote the immunization campaign.
Under the bill, which must still receive the go-ahead from the Federal Council (Upper House), where the ruling coalition has the necessary majority, Austrians over the age of 18 will have to be inoculated three times, although the requirement will not be extended pregnant women and people with medical contraindications, while citizens who have become ill with covid-19 will have a period of half a year to complete the vaccination schedule.
If the measure is approved, as of March 15, the authorities will begin to ensure compliance with the law. Thus, the police will have the right to check the existence of vaccination certificates or medical documents that prevent it.
Initially, he does not’ to immunization against the coronavirus will have no consequences. However, from mid-March it will be punished with fines of 600 euros that can grow throughout the year up to 3,600 euros.
lottery with vouchers
As for the incentive program, Austrians will receive a ticket for each dose received. According to estimates by Chancellor Karl Nehammer, one in ten tickets is awarded with a coupon of 500 euros that can be used to pay in stores, restaurants or tourism, cultural events and accommodation sites. The lottery is scheduled to start in March and run through December this year.
According to the calculations of the local newspaper delivery man, the lottery would cost the Austrian Executive about 750 million euros.
On the other hand, the authorities want to encourage financially to the municipalities for his achievements in inoculation. Specifically, if the vaccination rate in a municipality reaches 80%, a total of 75 million euros will be distributed among its inhabitants. If this index reaches 90%, the sum to be distributed will rise to 300 million.
Voices against in Parliament and in the streets
Despite the fact that the vote on the measure gathered an overwhelming number of votes in favor, the debate in the National Council was plagued with tensions. Austrian Freedom Party leader Herbert Kickl called the bill “an assassination attempt on the population” that will turn people into “male and female servants“.
Meanwhile, opponents of vaccination gathered this same day in the streets of the city of Vienna to express their rejection of the initiative. However, local media indicate that the presence of protesters was relatively scarce.