Like America, Europe to Force Vaccines on Citizens

This was meant to be a Christmas in Europe when family members and friends could reconnect. However, the continent is experiencing unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic instances.

Infections are rising again after nearly two years of sanctions, and the medical situation is rapidly pitting the vaccinated against the unvaccinated.

Governments eager to protect overcrowded healthcare systems impose policies limiting options for the unvaccinated in hopes of increasing vaccination rates. Austria, on Friday, made vaccines mandatory, starting Feb. 1.

More Countries Following Austria

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said he and others long believed citizens in Austria could be persuaded to be vaccinated willingly. He described the action as their only route out of the viral wave and lockdown debate loop.

Vaccination is mandated in Austria, but more and more countries are following suit. Non-vaccinated persons will be barred from all non-essential establishments and shopping centers starting Monday.

No public events or gatherings will be allowed, and they must test twice a week merely to work. Prime Minister of Slovakia Eduard Heger emphasized that a happy Christmas does not imply a COVID-19-free Christmas.

To achieve this, Slovakia’s immunization rate would need to be drastically different.

He termed the restrictions “a lockdown for the unvaccinated.” Not only countries in Central and Eastern Europe are struggling; the wealthy nations of the west are likewise heavily struck and restricting their numbers.

It’s time for action, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. With a vaccination percentage of 67.5%, her country is now exploring obligatory vaccines for many health workers.

On Friday, German disease control chief Lothar Wieler told reporters Germany is in a large epidemic and it’s a national emergency.

Greece is also tackling the unvaccinated. Late Thursday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared further limitations for unvaccinated people, including bar, dining, movie theater, museum, and gym bans. 

He says it’s a direct act of defense and an indirect call to be vaccinated.

Targeting People’s Rights

The limits infuriate Clare Daly, an Irish MEP on the Civil Rights and Justice Committee. She claims nations are trampling on individual liberties. Daly compared Austria’s pre-lockdown restrictions on unvaccinated persons to a scary nightmare.

Even in Ireland, where 75.9% of the populace is fully vaccinated, she faces opposition.

She stated there’s practically a hatred towards unvaccinated people. Many countries have mandated immunizations for illnesses like smallpox and polio.

Contrary to substantial clinical findings that vaccines greatly reduce the risk of death or major disease from COVID-19 (and decrease the pandemic’s progress), some people are nevertheless opposed to immunizations.

Ten thousand protesters chanted “freedom, freedom” this week in Prague to protest vaccination laws. 

“No personal rights are complete,” said London School of Economics Professor Paul De Grauwe. “The choice not to get vaccinated must be regulated to ensure the right of others to be healthy,” he wrote.

This idea is currently separating friends and families throughout Europe. Doctor and Leuven University professor Birgitte Schoenmakers says she sees it regularly and it has become a people’s war.

She sees political confrontations sparked by conspiracies, but also very personal situations. One of her patients was barred from her parents’ house because she dreads vaccinations.

The extremely contagious delta variant is altering officials’ attitudes, according to Schoenmakers. She said it is tough to reverse this. Infections are on the rise, and methods to control them are having the opposite effect.


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