Which countries in Europe will follow Austria and make COVID vaccines mandatory?

Austria will begin a pioneering experiment this Week – becoming Europe’s first country to mandate COVID vaccinations for all adults.

We take a moment to mark the occasion by looking at how close other continents are to following Vienna’s lead.

Austria: Is it an exception or a trailblazer country?

Alexander Schallenberg, then-chancellor in Austria, introduced plans for mandatory vaccination. He stated that it was the only way of avoiding new waves of the virus.

Greece

Greece is Fining those over 60 who refuse vaccination.

If they do not receive the jab by February 2, they will be fined EUR100 per lună.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitchells supported the measure, claiming that the older group was responsible for 90% of COVID-19-related deaths.

Greece requires all health workers working in public or private hospitals to have their vaccinations up to September last year.

To be able to access public areas such as restaurants and other services, Athens requires proof that you have been vaccinated or are recovering from COVID-19.

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Germany

German MPs are currently discussing different proposals to make immunization mandatory and impose fines on those who refuse to be jabbed.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz supports mandatory vaccination but has left it up to legislators to decide if it targets all people or only older individuals.

Angela Merkel, who had previously stated that vaccination would not be mandatory, said in December she would vote for mandatory vaccination if she was a member of the Bundestag.

Italy

It was announced by Italy on January 5th that COVID vaccinations would become mandatory for all people over 50.

It was in the midst of a record-breaking increase in COVID infections at the start of the year.

In an effort to protect patients, Italy was one of the first to require vaccinations for healthcare professionals last April.

Later, it was extended to teachers and military personnel as well as police officers and rescue workers. It was in force on 15/12.

Later, university staff was added to the list.

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France

Olivier Veran, France’s health minister, said that mandatory vaccination wasn’t a “choice France made” because it would be difficult to enforce.

Last September, COVID jabs were made mandatory for all health care workers, firefighters, and transport workers in the country.

After a lengthy debate in parliament, France introduced a vaccine bill on 24 January. To be able to use bars, restaurants, gyms, and other public facilities, the pass must show proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. To be able to work, anyone who is in direct contact with the public must have their vaccine pass.

Hungary

For health workers, teachers at state schools, and those working in state institutions, vaccination is mandatory in Hungary.

Private companies can decide whether workers should be vaccinated.

Officials from Hungary, including Prime Minister Viktor Orban, have encouraged citizens to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.

United Kingdom

According to Sajid Javid, UK health secretary, COVID-19 vaccines are now mandatory for social workers and health care workers in England by April 1.

Javid stated in an interview with BBC that he didn’t think the UK would ever “ever consider” mandating vaccines for all people. He said that vaccine hesitancy in the country was low.

Since November, care home workers and residents have been required to be fully immunized.

Sweden

Euronews was informed by a spokesperson for the Swedish Health Minister that the government doesn’t plan to implement compulsory vaccination.

The spokesperson stated that voluntary vaccinations, trust-building, and educating citizens have been key factors in achieving high vaccination rates in Sweden.

Sweden requires that indoor events with more than 50 participants have a valid vaccination certificate.

Denmark

Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister, stated in December that they would like the decision to be made by the person who made it.

Denmark issued a COVID-19 Pass that required vaccinations, recovery from the virus, or a negative test in order to gain access to most public life, including restaurants and cinemas.

All restrictions in Denmark will be lifted on 31 January. Authorities have declared that COVID-19 is no longer considered a “socially critically disease”.

Switzerland

The government of Switzerland states that vaccination is not required by law. However, transparent information should be made available to enable people to make informed decisions.

Local governments or cantons may impose vaccination on certain groups of people or for certain people under very strict conditions.

But, it is not possible to force anyone to get vaccinated.

Recent Swiss votes in favor of COVID-19 measures including the continuation of access to public life through health passes were cast in a referendum.

Indoors, proof of COVID-19 vaccination or recovery is required at bars, restaurants, and cinemas.

Latvia

Latvia has implemented measures to restrict the movement of people who have not been vaccinated.

Workers must present a COVID-19 recovery or vaccination certificate starting 15 December. This applies to all workers who work remotely in state institutions. Latvian doctors, teachers, and social workers must be vaccinated.

To be able to shop at restaurants, cultural events, and retail stores, you will need a COVID-19 card.

The Minister of Health, Mr. Daniels Pavluts has stated publicly that Latvia is considering other countries’ mandatory vaccination decisions and may follow this approach, Euronews was told by the health ministry.

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Slovenia

According to Euronews, there are no compulsory vaccinations against coronavirus in Slovenia.

The Constitution Court of Slovenia had stopped a December mandate that state workers be vaccinated and recovered from the virus.

For employees to be eligible for public services, proof of recovery, vaccination, or negative COVID-19 testing is required.

“We are in agreement with the President of the European Commission that compulsory vaccination should not be discussed on an EU scale. “In any case, it’s first necessary to reach a broader socio-political agreement on the possible introduction,” a minister of health adviser stated in an email.

Poland

The Polish Ministry of health stated in December that they were planning to mandate vaccinations for all medical staff starting March 1.

They also plan to introduce the measure for teachers, “uniformed service” (military and police)

Slovakia

Slovakia’s Prime Minister said mandatory vaccinations could be considered if there is a new COVID-19 version that has more patients.

“If we find a variant that would place people back in hospitals, then mandatory vaccinations can be considered. Unfortunately, there is not enough data to determine how the omicron virus will impact hospitals. Eduard Heger stated that it was important to wait for the end of the wave.

Slovakia’s justice ministry and health ministry confirmed that mandatory vaccinations could theoretically be implemented in the country.

Luxembourg

The Luxembourg parliament debated earlier in the month whether to make mandatory vaccinations.

According to the Chamber’s website, MPs approved a motion asking for the government to amend the legislation to mandate mandatory vaccinations for health workers and people over 50 years old.

This post was written by a medical professional at The Wellness Firm.  The Wellness Firm services include workplace flu clinics,  flu vaccinations, onsite event Covid testing, physical exams for employment, as well as American Heart Association CPR certification classes. Founded by local Firemen, The Wellness Firm has been providing a safer Tampa Bay since 2006.