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Czechs scrap plan for mandatory Covid vaccines

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Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala on Wednesday said the government was scrapping plans for obligatory Covid-19 vaccinations for people aged 60 and over, an initiative of the previous cabinet.

“We agreed that nobody will be forced to get vaccinated,” Fiala told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

He said the government “does not want to divide society”.

The previous Czech government had announced that it would also make vaccination mandatory for health workers, police officers, firefighters and the military from March 1.

“Even though vaccination is the most efficient weapon against serious forms of Covid-19, we do not want to force anyone,” Health Minister Vlastimil Valek said on Twitter.

The Czech Republic is facing a new wave of the pandemic, with some 30,000 new cases reported on Tuesday.

The health ministry says 63 percent of the population is vaccinated and around 31 percent have received a third jab.

The centre-right government was formed after a general election last October.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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