‘It must be my choice’: Austrians protest against compulsory Covid jabs

Many citizens say they will ignore the vaccine mandate despite the government’s carrot-and-stick approach of fines for holdouts and lottery tickets for people who get the jab, reports Amanda Coakley in Vienna

<p>An Austrian protester holds a sign that reads ‘No agreement! No compliance! No contract!’ at a rally against mandatory vaccination in Vienna, 22 January 2022</p>

An Austrian protester holds a sign that reads ‘No agreement! No compliance! No contract!’ at a rally against mandatory vaccination in Vienna, 22 January 2022

When Austria’s lower house of parliament passed a bill this week to make Covid vaccines mandatory for all adults from early February, Peter Rother was appalled. To the 47-year-old, the move was a sign of democratic backsliding.

A staunch opponent of Covid jabs, Mr Rother took to the streets of Vienna, Austria’s capital, on Saturday along with hundreds of others to voice his opposition to the bill, which is likely to become law in weeks.

“It’s my body, and it must be my choice what I do with my body”, he said from behind his surgical mask. “I think what this government has done is wrong and I will peacefully protest that.”

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