In the shadows of the war in Ukraine, politicians of the German government are preparing proposals for the next round of voting on a mandatory COVID vaccination, as reported by the MDR. Currently there are three proposals being prepared for a first presentation on March 17th, and a vote in the beginning of April. According to the wishes of initiators, mandatory vaccination could become a reality in Germany by October 1st.
The most discussed proposal includes mandatory vaccination for all adults above the age of 18. Initiator Dirk Wiese of the Social-Democratic Party (SPD) claims that the proposal has “already 233 supporters,” including the German Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD). Wiese expresses concerns that the war in Ukraine replaced COVID in public perception, even though it “remains a very important issue.” For Wiese, it is essential to prepare for a potential new wave in autumn, for which Germany “needs to be well prepared.” Therefore, he argues, it is vital “to quickly wrap up discussions and pass the law.”
Andrew Ullmann of the Liberal Party (FDP) is responsible for the other two proposals, one of which includes mandatory vaccination for all adults above the age of 50, the other, mandatory consultation for all unvaccinated. Ullmann is confident that his proposals have the highest chance of acceptance, but he worries that in the end all three proposals might be rejected. “Nobody would be served with that,” Ullmann said.
The vote on mandatory vaccination comes at a time when increasing numbers of studies suggest that side effects of COVID vaccinations might be a lot more widespread and severe than previously reported. On top of that, the German Robert-Koch-Institute (RKI) released a report on March 8th documenting a rise of “boostered” patients in intensive care units for COVID-related treatment from 6% at the beginning of the year, to more than 30% by the end of February. Andreas Winhart of the AfD considers this study to mark “the end of the discussion on mandatory vaccination.”
While most European governments no longer consider making COVID vaccination mandatory, Germany is opting to follow in the footsteps of Italy and Austria, the only countries with mandatory vaccination laws in place. Austria, however, announced on March 9th that it will suspend enforcing the vaccine mandate as it would currently be “a disproportionate measure.” It remains to be seen whether German policy makers will take the Austrian decision into consideration.