Thousands Protest in Vienna Against Mandatory Vaccination

By Reuters
January 16, 2022 Updated: January 16, 2022

VIENNA—Thousands of people took to the streets of Austria’s capital on Saturday 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.

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 percent of those surveyed oppose making jabs mandatory from February, of whom 34 percent were against compulsory vaccination in general and 17 percent wanted to wait. The survey found 45 percent of Austrians favored compulsory vaccination starting in February.