VIENNA (LifeSiteNews) — The Austrian government wants to vaccinate 90% of the country’s population with a fourth COVID jab this fall.
General Rudolf Striedinger, chief of staff for the Austrian secretary of defense and co-leader of the COVID crisis coordination effort, argued for the necessity of a fourth jab at today’s press conference.
“We know that in order to make it through the next fall and winter without issue, we need to achieve a 90% vaccination rate for the whole population,” Striedinger stated.
The general added that thinking of ways “to motivate” the Austrian people to achieve immunization of 90% of the population by next fall was “a difficult task” and the government will have to consider “various options.”
One option adopted by the Austrian government to “motivate” the population to get vaccinated against COVID-19 was the imposition of a vaccination mandate with fines as high as 3,600 euros ($4,108) for those who refuse the inoculations.
Speaking first to vaccinated Austrians, Striedinger announced that “all those who are already triple-vaccinated will in all likelihood need a booster shot in September before the arrival of the cold weather.”
Striedinger also addressed the unvaccinated, saying that “all those who are not vaccinated, and who were lucky enough to not come into contact with the virus, will have to start getting immunized now.”
He insisted that unvaccinated Austrians must get their first dose now to give them enough time before September to get the so-called “full-protection” allegedly provided by the four shots of the COVID-19 vaccine. Striedinger said this process will take 6 months. Practically speaking, this would mean one vaccination every two months for people who so far have not received a single dose.
Striedinger’s announcement comes as a Wednesday COVID summit introduced plans to lift some of Austria’s COVID restrictions in February and March.
For example, the so-called 2G rule, which requires people to present proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID before entering restaurants, hotels, sport venues, and other premises is to be lifted this Saturday, February 19 and replaced by the less strict 3G rule.
The 3G rule holds that unvaccinated people who have never contracted the coronavirus will again have access to these venues on the condition that they present a negative COVID test upon entering.
After March 5, though, even the 3G rule will be dropped. That day has been coined Austria’s “Freedom Day,” as broader relaxations of COVID rules will come into effect then. There will no longer be either a 2G or a 3G rule in restaurants, shopping centers, and the workplace. The midnight curfew will end.
Some mask mandates will also be abolished on March 5. Wearing an FFP2 mask will no longer be compulsory in all indoors spaces: only in food retail stores, pharmacies, nursing homes, and public transport.
But although many of the restrictions will be lifted on “Freedom Day,” the infamous mandatory vaccination policy will continue.
This means that though unvaccinated Austrians will again have access to venues they were previously barred from, they will still risk having to pay up to 3,600 euros ($4,108) every 3 months if they fail to be “fully vaccinated.” And, as of this September, that means a fourth dose.
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