As COVID-19 cases increase in Europe, more emphasis has been placed on convincing the unvaccinated to receive the vaccine.
So far, measures have ranged from COVID passes to lockdowns targeting those without the vaccine.
But now more countries are considering mandatory vaccination. In December, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen called for an EU discussion in the subject.
While there are vaccine mandates in many countries for children, for example to immunize against measles, ethics experts say. it is more difficult to require adults be inoculated
Here’s a Europe-wide look at the conversation about mandatory COVID vaccines.
As of February 1, vaccination will be mandatory in Austria, the first mandatory vaccination requirement in Europe.
The move came days after Austria tried to block the unvaccinated, which was quickly extended to a full national blockade.
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said it was the only way out of a vicious cycle of waves of the virus.
Greece will start fine people over 60 who are not vaccinated.
They will be fined € 100 per month if they do not receive the jab before January 15th.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis defended the measure saying that the largest group accounted for 90% of COVID-19 deaths.
Since September, Greece has demanded that sanitation workers in public and private facilities be vaccinated. They have also tightened restrictions on the recently unvaccinated.
German parliamentarians are expected to vote on mandatory vaccination.
Olaf Scholz, who will become German chancellor later this month, said there would be a vote in the Bundestag and that he hoped and thought that MPs would vote in favor.
Co-leader of the Greens, Robert Habeck, who apparently could become vice chancellor of the new government, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur that “mandatory vaccination would be a far-reaching invasion of the freedom of the individual. But it protects life and, in Ultimately, freedom. ” of the society.”
“To maintain the lead in the future and prevent a fifth wave, we must now prepare for a blanket vaccination obligation.”
Angela Merkel, who previously said that vaccination would not be mandatory, said on Thursday (December 2) that if she were a member of the Bundestag, she would vote in favor of mandatory vaccination.
Italy announced on January 5 that COVID vaccines it would be mandatory for those over 50.
It came amid a record spike in COVID infections in early 2022.
Last April, Italy became one of the first countries to require vaccination of healthcare professionals in an effort to protect patients.
Subsequently, it was extended to teachers, the army, the police, and rescuers. It came into effect on December 15.
On January 5, university personnel were added to the list of professions where vaccination is mandatory.
Since September, France has required vaccination of healthcare and sanitary professionals, firefighters and transport workers.
People with jobs who are in contact with the public must have a health pass in order to go to work that shows they are vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 or have had a negative test result.
Access to bars, restaurants, gyms, and many events also requires a health pass.
Health Minister Olivier Véran said that compulsory vaccination was not “the choice that France had made”, explaining that it would be more difficult to enforce for adults than for children.
COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory for healthcare and social care workers from April 1 in England, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in November as COVID-19 cases rose. .
However, Javid said in an interview with the BBC that he did not believe that the UK would “ever consider” imposing mandatory vaccines for the general population, stating that doubt about vaccines was low in the country.
A spokesman for the Swedish health minister told Euronews that the government does not plan to introduce mandatory vaccination.
“Maintaining voluntary vaccines, building trust and helping citizens to make informed decisions has proven to be successful in achieving high vaccination rates in Sweden,” the spokesperson said.
Since December 1, Sweden imposed a COVID-19 pass for entry to indoor public events with more than 100 people.
The pass certifies that the holder has been fully vaccinated, tested negative for the virus or recovered from the disease.
In Hungary, vaccination is compulsory for health workers, public school teachers and people working in state institutions.
Private companies are allowed to decide whether workers must be vaccinated or not.
Hungarian officials, including Prime Minister Viktor Orban, have urged citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Wednesday that “they would very much like the individual to make the decision.”
Denmark has issued a COVID-19 pass that requires vaccination, virus recovery, or a negative test to access much of public life, including restaurants, cinemas and hair salons.
The Swiss government states that “legally, a general obligation to vaccinate the population is excluded.”
“Transparent and understandable information should allow each person to make their decision freely,” says the public health office.
However, the government or local cantons may impose vaccination on “vulnerable groups of people and for certain people, under very strict conditions.” However, no one can be “forced” to get vaccinated.
The Swiss recently voted in favor of COVID-19 measures, including maintaining the use of health passes to access public life, in a referendum.
Latvia has measures that restrict people who are not vaccinated.
As of December 15, workers must present a certificate of vaccination or COVID-19 recovery. In state institutions, this also applies to people who work remotely. Latvia requires that doctors, teachers and people in social care homes are vaccinated.
A COVID-19 pass, demonstrating vaccination or recovery from the virus, is also required to access retail stores, cultural events, and restaurants.
Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts has publicly said that Latvia is analyzing the decisions of other countries on compulsory vaccination and that it can also follow that approach, the health ministry told Euronews.
There are no mandatory vaccines for the coronavirus in Slovenia, the health ministry told Euronews.
“We agree with the president of the European Commission that compulsory vaccination should be discussed at EU level. In any case, it is first necessary to reach a broader socio-political consensus on the possible introduction,” said an adviser to the Ministry of Health. . in an email.
There are no compulsory vaccinations in Bulgaria for professional groups or certain age groups, the health ministry told Euronews.
However, the country launch a health pass at the end of October, which requires proof of COVID-19, certificate of vaccination or recovery to access restaurants, cinemas, concerts, gyms and other public places.
Poland’s health ministry said they were preparing to introduce mandatory vaccination for medical workers from March 1.
They are also preparing to introduce the measure for teachers and “uniformed services” such as the military and police.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism