(Vienna) On Monday, Austria became the first EU country to restrict non-vaccinated people against COVID-19 and began vaccinating children under the age of five as Europe faces the disease again. ‘Infectious.
At the main vaccination center in Vienna, young Viennese people were quietly waiting to receive the first dose of the vaccine on Monday, when two million people who had not been vaccinated began a new control.
Austria is using the best methods to prevent the spread of the virus and increase the vaccination rate of its population (65% to date).
Although the European regulator has not yet approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech serum for 5-11 year olds, the city of Vienna has chosen to be at the forefront.
The initiative is popular this holiday season for school students in the capital. More than 10,000 meetings have already been recorded, said Peter Hacker, the municipal health assistant who launched the program early in the morning.
Gerald Schwarzl, 41, who came with his two children, including five-year-old Theo, responded, “We’re committed.” “We hope they will be protected just like any other vaccine.”
Colored masks on the face, first treated with their needles, a little intimidated by the cameras.
Like eight-year-old Pia, with black dress and yellow hair, she was “a little” scared, but is very proud to go out with the sesame name “Ninja Boss” given to children in Austria.
With young people now involved, Austrian Conservative President Alexander Schallenberg has decided to control those who have not been vaccinated with or after COVID-19 since Monday.
“The situation is serious,” the head of state warned on Sunday, facing a surge of new cases, the highest since the epidemic began – in this country of 8.9 million people, with an average of 2,000 a day.
An air of concern is blowing in Europe as pollution increases from the Netherlands to Norway and controls return.
But only Austria in the European Union (EU) has gone so far as to restrict those who are not vaccinated, and has already excluded them from restaurants, hotels or hairdressing salons, which has angered a section of the population.
“Welcome to racism,” the government accused Monday of appointing a group of “slaughtered sheep”.
“Mr. Schallenberg is forcing rebellion, division and people to be injected with suspicion,” said Dr. Christian Fiala, who works on the initiative Corona Information.
A demonstration in support of the far-right party FPÖ – whose anti-vaccine leader has declared that he is in favor of COVID-19 19 – is scheduled for next Saturday.
Despite the government announcing several checks and bans, experts have not hidden their doubts about the effectiveness of such measures.
Others, such as expert Bernd-Christian Funk, have wondered in the media whether restricting only a fraction of the population is constitutional.
“This is pure and simple discrimination,” Sabine, a 49-year-old energy adviser, was offended at an earlier meeting on Sunday, saying he did not want to give his last name. “Of course, my life and my freedom are in jeopardy. This is not the right way to proceed.”
“I’m here to send a message: we must retaliate,” Sarah Hein, 30, a hospital department employee, told AFP. “We want to work, we want to help people, but we don’t want to be vaccinated. It’s up to us to decide.”
Christmas is safe
In Vienna, merchants and passers-by interviewed by AFP at the Christmas market generally welcomed these new restrictions, without fear that attendance would decline as the holidays approached.
“We do what needs to be done and we want everyone to feel safe,” explains Daniel Stalker, head of the market located in Town Hall Square, which was canceled last year due to an epidemic.
However, some Viennese fear that controlling those who are not vaccinated is not enough.
This weekend, it was “too much” at the wooden kiosks at the base of the big Christmas tree, says Jutta Crumfold with a smile of the fifties selling cosmetics and soaps.
People fear that generalized control will be accepted. “They told me to save everything before closing” and the lights went out.