Compulsory vaccination is a topic that is currently dividing the Czech society into two sides, namely those who are for and those who are against it.
Czech President Milos Zeman spoke out in favour of mandatory vaccinations against Covid-19 during his traditional Christmas address.
He said he had initially been skeptical about the idea, but given repeated new waves of infection, he said he had changed his mind. Zeman said he had ultimately been swayed by Austria, which has decreed vaccination compulsory as of February 2022.
A survey conducted by the Median agency suggests that just over half of Czechs (51 percent) agree with the introduction of compulsory vaccination for selected groups or people in high-risk professions.
Those in favor are generally people over the age of 65, who live in bigger cities (with more than 100,000 inhabitants) and have a higher education.
47 percent of respondents are against and two percent are undecided.
“According to the survey, mainly SPD voters and students are against mandatory vaccination. In contrast, forty-seven percent of people are against compulsory vaccination,” said Přemysl Čech, director of the Median agency.
At the beginning of December, the Czech Health Ministry prepared a decree making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for people over 60, as well as workers in critical sectors such as medical staff, police, soldiers and firefighters.
Some other European countries have begun moving towards compulsory vaccinations, including the Czech Republic’s neighbour Austria, which has mandated shots for all citizens.
The decree was approved by the previous government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO), however, the final decision will be upon the new government of Petr Fiala (ODS) and specifically the Minister of Health Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09), based on the spread of the omicron variant.