VIENNA: Thousands of people took to the streets of Austria’s capital on Saturday (Jan 15) to protest against government plans to introduce mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all next month.
“The government must go!” crowds chanted at one rally in central Vienna in what has become a routine Saturday event.
Parliament is scheduled to vote next week on the issue, which has polarised the country as coronavirus cases surge.
In November, the government announced a fourth national lockdown and said it would make vaccinations compulsory for all Austrians, the first European Union country to do so.
A poll for Profil magazine found 51 per cent of those surveyed oppose making jabs mandatory from February, of whom 34 per cent were against compulsory vaccination in general and 17 per cent wanted to wait. The survey found 45 per cent of Austrians favoured compulsory vaccination starting in February.