SHARE
COPY LINK

COVID-19 VACCINES

German Health Minister calls for mandatory vaccinations from ‘April or May’

With Covid infections reaching record highs in Germany, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has reiterated his calls for a general vaccine mandate, which he says should come into force in the first half of this year.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach speaks at a press conference in Berlin on Friday.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach speaks at a press conference in Berlin on Friday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

In order to immunise as many unvaccinated people as possible ahead of a possible new Covid wave in autumn, mandatory vaccinations would have to come into force soon, Lauterbach said. 

“If we want to propose a motion that still works, then that’s a motion that puts compulsory vaccination into effect… in April or around April, maybe in May,” Lauterbach told the German news programme RTL Direkt on Tuesday evening.

Lauterbach and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (both SPD) are in favour of a general vaccination requirement, but there are already many opposing voices. 

READ ALSO: Scholz pushes mandatory jabs as resistance grows in Germany

The Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Gassen, said doctors shouldn’t be forced to carry out mandatory jabs.

“We will not expect our doctors to carry out compulsory vaccination against the will of the patients,” Gassen told Bild newspaper.

“The practices are not a place to enforce state measures, but rather they are about the relationship of trust between doctor and patient.” 

Speaking to The Local in December, FDP health expert Dr Andrew Ullmann said that no-one would be physically forced to have the Covid-19 vaccine under mandates, but vaccine refusers could face a fine if they can’t provide proof of being vaccinated in certain situations (for example, in the workplace).

How will vaccine mandates be debated?

There is no planned government proposal from the coalition on a general vaccine requirement. Instead, cross party groups are to bring motions on the issue to parliament.

MPs will then debate and decide in the coming weeks. They will be permitted to vote against their own party line in what’s known as a vote of conscience.

Within the coalition there are different views on the issue. Some Free Democrat (FDP) politicians, for instance, support compulsory vaccinations for older people, while other FDP MPs – particularly those who support party vice-chairman Wolfgang Kubicki – reject compulsory vaccination altogether.

“I am of the opinion that the German Bundestag should vote on general compulsory vaccination against coronavirus in March after thorough consultation,” Green Party health expert Janosch Dahmen told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND).

READ ALSO: German MPs to decide on general vaccine mandate ‘in March’

To keep this time frame, “it would make sense to discuss the group motions for the first time in February,” he added.

The first debate will take place in the Bundestag next week.

Vocabulary

Compulsory vaccination – (die) Impfpflicht

Motion/proposal – (der) Antrag

Matter of conscience/moral question – (die) Gewissensfrage

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

Member comments

    1. The same fearmongering so common in the MSM. I support Rheiner Fullmich of the Corona Investigative Committee. Mr Lauterbach has obviously forgotten the Nuremberg Code. What are the statistics for adverse reactions and deaths never see anything about that in the MSM.
      I prefer to listen to independent medical and scientific experts not those who are the pharmaceutical companies mouthpieces. These experimental gene therapy jabs are still in stage 3 until 2023. Funny how cases have risen so much after the jabs were rolled out.

  1. The sooner the plague-rat anti-vax nutters are forced to stop spreading diseases that kill people the better

    1. Vaccines do NOTHING to stop transmission. They do protect against severe illness so it should be up to the individual to choose. After Omicron, there is no longer an argument for mandates in order to stop the spread.

    2. Yes!!! Let’s round them up in trains, move them to certain cramped spaces and then “deal” with them! That worked miracles in 1940!

  2. Given that Omicron is milder and will thus inevitably and harmlessly impute immunity to many, as well as the fact that vaccines (even 3 doses) no longer prevent transmission or infection, these mandates are about nothing else than unbridled authoritarianism.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19 VACCINES

Germany’s Scholz rules out second attempt at vaccine mandate

After an attempt to introduce an over-60s vaccine mandate was rejected in parliament, German chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has said his government will not bring the issue to a vote again.

Germany's Scholz rules out second attempt at vaccine mandate

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has rejected the idea of a second attempt to introduce mandatory Covid vaccinations.

“There is no legislative majority in the Bundestag for compulsory vaccination,” he said on Thursday evening after consultations with the leaders of the federal states in Berlin.

Expressing his regret at the lack of support for the move, he said this reality would have to be the “starting point” for any future vaccination drives. 

“I am, of course, disappointed that there was no majority today, I don’t want to hide that at all,” said Scholz. “I am still convinced that it would be right to have compulsory vaccination in Germany. With the Bundestag decision, however, a very clear statement by the legislator had now been made.”

Despite the fact that Covid-19 vaccines have been available in Germany for more than a year, around 24 percent of the population still have no vaccine protection whatsoever.

Of these, around 4-5 percent are too young to get the Covid vaccine, but around 20 percent are either against the idea or still on the fence. 

“We will do everything we can to convince even more citizens of this country to get vaccinated,” Scholz told reporters. “This will require our creativity.”

READ ALSO: Scholz gets stinging defeat in parliament with Covid jab vote

On Thursday, a bill for compulsory vaccination for everyone over the age of 60 was voted down in the Bundestag, dealing a painful blow to its supporters in the traffic-light coalition. 

The bill had been promoted primarily by SPD and Green MPs, including Scholz himself and Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD). A motion from the opposition CDU/CSU parties to introduce a vaccine register and potential target vaccine mandates was also rejected by the house. 

‘Bitter defeat’

Scholz is not alone in ruling out the possibility of reviving the vaccine mandate issue. 

Speaking to Tagesschau in Berlin, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the failure of the bill had been a “bitter defeat” that made it unlikely that any future bill on the subject would gain enough support to succeed.

“It’s a clear result that has to be lived with,” he said. “I’m sceptical about whether we can still achieve anything through additional talks.”

In a democracy, he said, this had to be respected.

But he explained that the failure of compulsory vaccination is bad news for vulnerable patients, for those who work to treat and care for Covid patients, and for all those who have to live with restrictions. A new wave of infections is likely by autumn at the latest, Lauterbach said.

READ ALSO: German Health Minister to target undecided in new Covid jab campaign

SHOW COMMENTS