The new government in the Czech Republic has abandoned plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, arguing that such a policy would “deepen fissures in society.”
Under the former government, adults aged 60-plus, health care workers, firefighters, police officers and medical students would all have been subject to the mandate from March.
However, new Prime Minister Petr Fiala ditched the former administration’s decree, telling reporters that the government saw no need to make jabs compulsory and that it would only serve to create more division.
“We’ve agreed that vaccination against COVID-19 won’t be mandatory,” Fiala said. “This does not change our stance on vaccination. It is still undoubtedly the best way to fight COVID-19 … however, we do not want to deepen fissures in society.”
The reversal took place after numerous high profile protests in Prague.
Only 62.9 percent of Czechs are considered “fully vaccinated,” which is below the European average.
While Czechs can breathe a sigh of relief, people in neighboring Austria still face the prospect of having to get vaccinated or face massive punitive fines of 3,600 euros ($4,000 dollars).
As we previously highlighted, the Austrian government is hiring people to “hunt down vaccine refusers” in advance of a mandatory vaccination law which takes effect from February.
The unvaccinated in Austria could also be imprisoned for a year under an administrative law that would force them to pay for their own internment.
Czech Republic abandoning compulsory jabs is part of a broader move across the continent of restrictions finally being lifted as Omicron proves to be mild and cause fewer hospitalisations.
Some experts have even suggested that the new variant could act as nature’s vaccine, providing high levels of immunity that may finally bring the pandemic to an end.
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