IMPORTANT NOTE: This information provides a snapshot of the European situation in September 2023. Please note that for more specific and up-to-date information on a single country, it is advisable to contact the local organisations.
In Austria, childhood vaccination is strongly recommended but not mandatory.
Nursing college or medical school require vaccination, including against measles, of their employees and students. Staff dedicated to elderly people are required to be vaccinated and all those who work in a hospital must be vaccinated.
In military service, vaccination is mandatory, but if a soldier wants to take responsibility for not being vaccinated, he can sign a form in which he assumes responsibility.
The Austrian anomaly on Covid19
On January 16, 2022, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health and the Minister of the Constitution declared to the population that vaccination against Covid19 would be mandatory and they did so without prior consultations, debates, etc.
The people did not accept this imposition given that the declaration was illegitimate and contrary to the Austrian Constitution so the Government had to march and call a vote in Parliament. This vote took place on January 20, 2022. The two houses of the Austrian Parliament voted 137 in favor of mandatory vaccination and 33 voted against, for a total of 170 votes. Among those in favor of the obligation we find the Christian Democratic, Social Democratic, Green and Neos parties. The no votes came from the opposition party called "Freedom".
The Austrian government was so enthusiastic about having won this vote that they announced with enormous happiness that Austria was the first country in the world to have made vaccination compulsory.
Before the law went into effect in March, they decided the requirement was no longer necessary because the Omicron variant was mild. We have heard from many Austrian associations and they have confirmed that citizens have continued to demonstrate for months against this obligation, with very heavy and powerful demonstrations.
Others believe that the Austrian Minister of Health did not want to antagonize part of the population who were pressing in the squares, but more than anything else because the question of whether vaccination was compulsory or not will be resolved in the near future by the WHO. Let us remember that the Austrian Prime Minister signed the WHO agreement, effectively delegating future decisions to a supranational entity.
The Austrian Ministry of Health, until 2018, considered the obligation of vaccination
A spokesman for former Health Minister Oberhauser (who was a pediatrician) said in 2018 that the legal situation for introducing compulsory vaccination is under review, but it seems difficult due to the Constitution, which takes into account both the individual that of public health.
Ursula Köller, head of the working group of the Austrian Federal Chancellery's Bioethics Commission, believes that mandatory vaccination is still worth discussing. "Evidence of protection against disease before going to school, kindergarten or university would certainly make sense, similar to what happens in Anglo-Saxon countries and in the United States of America".
In Austria, unvaccinated children can attend kindergartens, kindergartens and primary schools.
Compulsory education can be satisfied not only by attending a school, but also by receiving an equivalent education, such as homeschooling. Homeschooling is legal and regulated by the Austrian government at the local level in the Compulsory Education Act of 1985. Private schools must be "at least equivalent" to public school, which is assessed through testing their students at a public school at the end of each year, unless a private school has the right to conduct its own examination. Parents do not need special qualifications to homeschool their children. The right to home education is provided for in the Constitution (Staatsgrundgesetz of 1867, Article 17), which protects the right of parents to teach their school-age children at home instead of sending them to a private or public school.
For more information visit the websiteHSLDA.
For more information visit the websiteEcdc.
Recognition and compensation for vaccine injuries
We are not aware if there is a law that compensates for vaccine injuries.
Local organizations pro-freedom of choice in the therapeutic field
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We want to thank you EFVV for providing us with the first information on the European situation.