Sumary of Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated: Europe’s Covid Culture War:
- In Italy, the northern province of Bolzano — bordering Austria and Switzerland, where 70 percent of the population is German-speaking — has the country’s lowest vaccination rate.
- Experts have linked a sharp increase in infections there to frequent exchanges with Austria, but also to a cultural inclination among the population toward homeopathy and natural cures.
- Especially in the Alps, he said, the German-speaking population trusts fresh air, organic produce and herbal teas more than traditional drugs.
- In fact, Germany, Austria and the German-speaking region of Switzerland have the largest shares of unvaccinated populations in all of Western Europe.
- Opposition to vaccines, said Pia Lamberty of CeMAS, a Berlin-based research organization focused on disinformation and conspiracy theories, is in some ways the long tail of the populist nationalist movements that shook up European politics for a decade.
- In Austria, where the government has gone furthest in restricting the unvaccinated, a newly founded anti-vaccine party recently won three seats in a State Parliament in the north, long a stronghold of the far right.
- Every Monday, hard-line anti-vaxxers hold a small but noisy rally in the town center.
- “This is an unprecedented breach of our constitutional freedoms,” said Michael Brunner, the head of MFG, the new anti-vaccine party.