Less than half a year after its introduction in February, the Austrian government has announced that the mandatory COVID vaccination will soon be a thing of the past. The opposition calls people to remain watchful though.
New studies exposing the dangers of the COVID-19 vaccines are published on a weekly basis. But, along with the mounting number of vaccine-related side effects, they are routinely met with silence by the media and politicians.
An Italian court awarded a compensation of €77,468 to the family of a 32-year old who died last year as a result of the COVID-vaccination, setting a precedent for the many similar cases currently in courts.
Despite recent reports and studies showing the diminishing effect of booster vaccinations, German government officials are still preparing a series of proposals for mandatory vaccinations. The vote is scheduled for early April.
At the very moment when the Christian Gospel, with its life-giving and hopeful message of the triumph of life over death, and of light defeating darkness, so desperately needed to be heard, there seemed to be silence from those charged with preaching that Good News.
With a vaccination rate of 88% over the age of 12, Italy has deemed it necessary to enforce a new mandate barring unvaccinated citizens over the age of 50 from going to work. The new mandate is scheduled to last until June 15th, while at the same time other COVID measures are being relaxed.
As other European countries reduce their COVID regulations, Austria has gone the other way. As of February 5th, Austria became Europe’s first country with mandatory COVID vaccination rules for all adults. But the implementation of the rule remains a challenge.
United under the ‘European Freedom Convoy 2022’ banner, similar movements are now springing up across the continent. They plan to take to the streets in their respective capitals on the 7th of February, and to descend on Brussels on the 14th.
The new law, the brainchild of the center-right ÖVP and the Greens and opposed by the FPÖ, allows citizens’ vaccination status to be checked by police. Fines for infractions will range from €600 to €3600.
Monsignor Cirulli justifies these extreme measures by relying on the words of Pope Francis, who sees vaccination as an “act of love.” The deliberate obstruction of the distribution of the sacraments to the faithful in times of peril, however, raises questions. The bishop has attracted a lot of criticism for this decision, which for the moment remains purely local.
The year 2022 is starting badly for the French government. While it wanted to use the outbreak of the omicron variant in France to impose the vaccine pass before mid-January, things are looking more complicated than expected.
“Blanket booster programmes are likely to prolong the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than ending it,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. He reasoned that until vaccination reached around the world, the virus would only have more opportunity to spread and mutate. “No country can boost its way out of the pandemic,” Tedros added.
The choice for tougher measures for unvaccinated people a few days before Christmas will have a direct impact on the presidential campaign, as it invites the candidates to take a stand on this particularly divisive issue.
There is an ethical case to be made against vaccine mandates. It is far from straightforward, and it requires careful reasoning and methodical analysis. This conversation would be centered around the question about the role of government in our lives.
What galvanized the protestors ranged from resistance to masking, objection to the controversial COVID Safety Ticket (CST), which allows only those in the vaccinated, testing negative, or newly recovered categories to enter most public spaces, to the specter of mandatory vaccination–for now, limited to those in care and health services.