VIENNA, February 12. /TASS/. Austria’s Economic Union on Friday urged Health Minister Wolfgang Muckstein to recognize Sputnik V vaccination certificates or the country could face a labor shortage.
The Austrian Ministry of Health has so far not added Sputnik V to its list of recognized vaccines, which can be administered in order to comply with the compulsory vaccination law. The list includes two Chinese and three Indian vaccines, although they have not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency, as has Sputnik V.
The Austrian Economic Union has warned that the decision will affect thousands of migrant workers, mainly from Hungary, Romania and Poland, including nearly 34,000 people employed in the travel sector, as well as 11,000 workers in the nursing sector, 4 000 agricultural workers and 25,000 construction workers.
Austrian lawmaker Kurt Egger, who leads the union, said foreign workers faced problems in the country due to the need to constantly prove their negative status for COVID-19.
“This situation makes working in Austria unattractive and aggravates the labor shortage problem,” he said, adding that the country’s 18,000 healthcare jobs remained vacant, 29,000 – in construction and 25 thousand – in tourism.
“In order not to worsen the labor shortage, we must make things easier for foreign workers instead of making it even more difficult. Health Minister Muckstein should take action and recognize Sputnik V,” said Egger.
The law on compulsory vaccination of all adults over the age of 18 against COVID-19 is due to come into force in Austria at the beginning of February. This measure will not apply to pregnant women, those who recovered from COVID-19 less than six months ago, and those with medical clearance. The application of the new legislation while the country’s Health Ministry refuses to recognize the certificates of people vaccinated with Sputnik V, could create new obstacles for bilateral cooperation, Russian Ambassador to Austria Dmitry said on Monday. Lyubinsky.
The Russian Sputnik V has not yet received clearance from the European Medical Agency (EMA) for use in the European Union. EU countries using the Sputnik V vaccine, such as Hungary, have the right to issue EU digital COVID certificates for this vaccine, but other member countries can accept these documents or not at their discretion.