World Debate about compulsory vaccination: Stelzer for it, Anschober pleads...

Debate about compulsory vaccination: Stelzer for it, Anschober pleads for voluntary activity

Even though research teams around the world are working on the development of a vaccine against Covid-19, the hope of rapid success has recently dispelled geneticist Josef Penninger in the OÖNachrichten interview.

Nevertheless, Upper Austria’s Governor Thomas Stelzer (VP) is already grappling with a sensitive question and pleads for a mandatory vaccination against the corona virus. With the “extent of suffering and economic consequences”, this is necessary, although he expects a high voluntary demand for vaccination, said Stelzer.

Of course, a “reliable” vaccine should be available and “legal questions” must be clarified, including, of course, those of “consequences” for those who refused to vaccinate, said Stelzer yesterday. He further refuses to be vaccinated for other diseases.

This would be a novelty in Austria, where there is a recommended vaccination plan but no mandatory vaccinations. And Minister of Health Rudi Anschober (Greens) also rejects such. “My expectation and hope is that the crisis will be so manifest that it can be achieved on a voluntary level”, Anschober wants herd immunity without coercion.

But Stelzer is not alone in calling for duty: for example, World Medical President Frank Ulrich Montgomery also endorses it. People who refused to have a vaccine would pose a high health risk to their fellow citizens, he argued. In Austria, Burgenland’s governor Hans Peter Doskozil (SP) also sided with Stelzer, and his Styrian colleague Hermann Schützenhöfer (VP) would also be “in doubt” for it. The heads of state of Vienna, Carinthia and Salzburg reacted negatively.

Vaccination has been discussed several times, especially against measles, because the vaccination rates are falling here. Almost a fifth of two to five year olds had not been vaccinated in the previous year. Only around ten percent of Austrians are vaccinated against influenza. Depending on the disease, the vaccination rate required for herd immunization varies, however, it is 95 percent for measles, and according to experts, it would be less than sufficient for Covid-19.

Germany only introduced compulsory measles vaccination before entering kindergarten or school in March, but the government rejects compulsory Covid 19 vaccination.

The opponents in Austria also argue with constitutional reasons: So it is a violation of freedom and human dignity, as FP chief Norbert Hofer once again noted yesterday. Proponents oppose the priority of health.

SP boss Pamela Rendi-Wagner sees a “general obligation to vaccinate critical”, but can imagine it for health workers, for example. However, it is not only questionable whether a vaccine is found, but also whether it can be used for all age groups.

Anschober: majority want to be vaccinated

The majority of Austrians would be vaccinated against the corona virus if a vaccine were available. This was the result of a survey by the Linz market institute among 1,000 people, which had been commissioned by the Ministry of Health. 62 percent of those questioned stated that they “definitely” (35 percent) or “rather” (27 percent) want to take part in a vaccination.

The number of opponents of vaccination was also surprisingly high. 25 percent said that they “tend not to” or “certainly not” to want to be vaccinated against Corona.

“This means that the willingness to vaccinate against corona is significantly higher than, for example, with influenza,” said health minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens). “In general, however, the data also show that we still have to do a lot of information and education work on the subject of vaccinations. This will be a central focus of health policy in the autumn.”

No Covid deaths

The number of active patients in Austria dropped to less than 800 yesterday, and the number of new infections has been less than 50 for five days (see chart). No death related to Covid-19 was registered in Upper Austria yesterday. (jabü)


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