Czechia – Slovakia has ordered a new lockdown for the unvaccinated one week after Austria, where the national lockdown has now been extended to the vaccinated too, starting Monday, 22 November. Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) also announced that vaccination against Covid-19 would become compulsory from 1 February, leading to the largest demonstration in Vienna in recent years on Saturday, 20 November. In an interview published on Sunday by Blesk, Czechia’s soon-to-be health minister, Vlastimil Válek (TOP09), is seriously considering giving Czechs a fourth injection of anti-Covid vaccine, while clearly distancing himself from the idea of making vaccination compulsory.
The priority is not to close schools
“Even after the third dose, a vaccinated person can of course get infected, (…) and if they get infected, they can also infect other people. (…) The implementation of precautionary measures, such as testing, depends on the viral load in the population. (…)
The priority is that schools do not close (…) I have put together a large team, and one of their tasks is to understand how to most effectively test children in schools.
Mandatory vaccination is not a solution
Mandatory vaccination is terribly divisive in society. (…) In fact, there is no completely mandatory vaccination against any other disease in adults. (…)
Mandatory vaccinations are made more complicated by the fact that you have to say what you are going to do with those who don’t get vaccinated: Lock them up? Expel them from the country?
Even with mandatory vaccinations for children, there is never a 100% success rate, where everyone is vaccinated. The state accepts that there are various people who refuse to be vaccinated, and even if the child becomes ill with a serious disease, the state, the healthcare facilities treat him or her and never extort money for treatment.
Mandatory vaccination is a totalitarian measure
This means that imposing mandatory vaccinations makes sense either when almost everyone is vaccinated and you’re short, say, half a percent, or when the government doesn’t know where to go, or when you have a totalitarian regime.
The need for a fourth dose cannot be ruled out
(…) The EMEA [European Medicines Agency] now clearly recommends a third dose for people over 65. It is very likely that a second dose will be recommended for those who have received a single-dose vaccine. Personally, I think that sooner or later a decision will also be made, at least for those who are in the 40+ age category (…), to receive the third dose. (…)
As things stand, I would not dare to say that a fourth dose will not be necessary. I think it would be very frivolous for anyone to say that after the third dose, immunity will last so long that no further doses are needed, and no one is saying that.”