Czech Republic, United Kingdom get rid of vaccine mandates

by Vianca Rodriguez

Shortly after the United Kingdom decided to scrap their own Covid-19 related restrictions and inoculation mandates, the Czech Republic immediately followed suit on Wednesday, putting a sudden halt to their vaccination orders.

This is due to a governmental transition, as new Prime Minister Petr Fiala, is focusing on less restrictive measures to handle the pandemic.

Although he continued to stress the importance of vaccines, he admitted the government will not be stepping on anyone’s toes regarding that medical decision.

In a tweet by the Civic Democratic Party of Czech Republic, that was retweeted by the new prime minister, Fiala stated (according to an English translation) that “Covid vaccination will not be mandatory. The government’s attitude to vaccination does not change: it is the best way to fight covid. Vaccination is the surest way to avoid the severe course of the disease; the numbers speak for themselves.

Several anti-mandate protests ravaged the European Union for months, including the city of Prague as recently as Jan. 9. Thousands marched through Czech Republic’s capital urging the government eliminate vaccination requirements.

The mandate imposed by the previous government targeted select populations, such as healthcare workers, firefighters, police, and the elderly.

At least 37 percent of the nation’s population remains unvaccinated, despite efforts to coerce individuals against making their own medical choices.

European leaders from the U.K. and Spain have been increasingly leading the call to treat Covid-19 as an endemic, much like an ordinary illness, such as a cold or flu.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced at a news conference in Madrid on Monday that the “virus is no longer so deadly”, especially after witnessing their death rates collapse from an average of 13 percent to just under 1 percent.

In a radio interview earlier in the month with Spain’s Cadena SER, Sánchez stated “I think we have to evaluate the evolution of Covid to an endemic illness, from the pandemic we have faced up until now.”

Similarly, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously stated that people will “just have to learn to live” with the virus.

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