Austria is scrapping an already-suspended COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Health Minister Johannes Rauch announced on Thursday (June 23).
“We have decided as a government to do away with the vaccine mandate,” Rauch told a news conference. “Living with COVID means that we will bring forward a comprehensive package of measures, and today that means the abolition of compulsory vaccination.”
“No one is getting vaccinated because of the compulsory vaccination,” he said. People have to be convinced into getting vaccinated, Rauch explained. “And we can only achieve this, when it is on a voluntary basis.”
Originally, the plan was to threaten those who refused COVID-19 vaccination with a fine of up to €3,600 ($3,780), as of March 15. But by the beginning of March, the law was suspended.
On Wednesday (June 22), only 140 people across Austria received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.