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Protection measures partially lifted: Lauterbach sees Germany in a “critical situation” – knowledge

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Austria temporarily suspends the obligation to be vaccinated against the crown virus. The obligation to vaccinate is not proportional to the predominant Omicron variant, constitutional minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP) said Wednesday in Vienna. The basis for the decision is the report of an expert commission. A new decision must be made in three months, said Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens). If the situation makes it necessary to reintroduce compulsory vaccination, it will be possible to react quickly, the two government officials said.

In fact, compulsory vaccination is in force from the beginning of February. Since March 15, whoever refuses has had to wait for fines of up to 3,600 euros.

The commission of experts points out that after a relatively relaxed summer, an autumn characterized by new variants could follow. “The basic obligation to vaccinate as a proven means of ensuring a high vaccination rate is still useful in principleto avoid overloading the health system”, writes the Commission. But it depends on the time of vaccination. If you vaccinate too early, a significant part of this newly acquired immunity will wear off.

In general, a later implementation of the vaccination requirement is preferable to an immediate implementation, experts continue. In any case, there is a certain possibility “that in light of new scientific findings, it is no longer necessary to implement mandatory vaccination or that even better vaccines are available.”

Austria was a pioneer in the EU with the move. Other countries only had age-specific regulations. The vaccination rate in Austria is around 70 percent. The introduction of compulsory vaccination remained in Austria practically ineffective. Since the beginning of February, only 26,000 previously unprotected people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The omicron variant continues to ensure a high number of infections. The incidence after seven days is 2,500 per 100,000 inhabitants, approximately double that in Germany. Almost all corona restrictions were recently lifted because the situation in the clinics is considered stable. (dpa)

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