The lockdown on people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 – which went into effect in Austria today – is a “difficult” measure that is “already bearing fruit”, Chancellor Alexander Salenberg told AFP today, citing “the mass increase enrollment in vaccination centers “.
“It is not that we were happy to deprive part of the freedom of a part of the population, but the measure is already bringing results,” the chancellor stressed.
Austria today imposed a lockdown on those who have not been vaccinated against the disease, the first European country to take such a measure.
Austria is facing a rapid rise in new cases, the highest since the pandemic began – an average of 12,000 a day in the country of 8.9 million people.
“The only chance to get out of this vicious circle is to increase the vaccination rate,” which is “shamefully low” (65% to date), Salenberg insisted.
“I want to lead the unvaccinated to be vaccinated and not to confine the vaccinated,” he added, dismissing allegations of discrimination or violation of fundamental rights.
According to him, almost half a million people received a dose of vaccine last week in the Central European country, including 128,813 for the first time, in the face of restrictions.
“I can not imagine that two-thirds of the population is ready to relinquish their freedoms and accept the house arrest in solidarity with the other third who has not yet been vaccinated,” said the Austrian chancellor.
Asked about the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11, for which preparations have already begun in the city of Vienna, the chancellor said he expects the European Medicines Agency to give the green light “within the next two weeks”.
It will begin “if that happens, a call for children to be vaccinated”.