Vienna (AFP) – Austria’s parliament on Thursday approved making Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for adults from next month, becoming the first European country to do so despite a wave of protests opposing the measure.
Tens of thousands have demonstrated against mandatory vaccination in regular weekend rallies since the measure was announced in November in a bid to drive up the country’s vaccination rate.
But all parties, except the far-right, supported the measure, with the new legislation passing with 137 votes in favour and 33 votes against it.
FPOe leader Herbert Kickl railed against the law in Thursday’s charged parliamentary debate, claiming it “paves the way to totalitarianism in Austria”.
He vowed that he himself would continue to refuse vaccination in defiance of the new law.
* * *