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Austria’s Covid vaccine law comes into force amid resistance

A new law comes into force in Austria on Tuesday that makes vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory for anyone over-18, the BBC reports.

Several countries have introduced mandates for the elderly or medical staff, but this is the first nation in Europe to adopt such sweeping measures.

LOu Moser, a ceramic artist who lives south of Vienna, is not vaccinated against Covid-19 and neither is her husband, Gus. They strongly disagree with Austria’s new vaccine mandate.

Vaccination, she says, should be a personal choice. “I’ve had Covid-19. And so I actually don’t see the point of being jabbed when I’ve got sufficient antibodies,” LOu tells me. “And so I chose not to get vaccinated. And it’s not for any authority to tell me what to put into my body.”

“It has shown that the vaccines haven’t really stopped the pandemic yet,” LOu says. “People keep being vaccinated, and they’re still getting ill from Covid-19. Maybe not as badly, but they’re still getting ill.”

Austria’s government says vaccinations are effective at combating severe disease, and that the law is needed to prevent future lockdowns. Karoline Edtstadler, minister for the EU and Constitution, says the government is “very aware that it is really a strong step and really hard measure”.

But, she says, it is necessary.

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