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German Parliament Rejects Mandatory COVID-19 Inoculation Legislation for Citizens Over 60


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The German Parliament has rejected a bill that would have made COVID-19 inoculations mandatory for all Germans over the age of 60.

The vote is a major blow for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after building broad support for the bill among members of his ‘stop sign’ coalition.

378 out of 683 parliamentarians voted against the bill, while only 296 voted in favor.

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reitschuster.de reported:

When the President of the Bundestag announced the result, cheers can be heard from the AfD parliamentary group. “Yeah” calls can also be heard from other areas of Parliament. Even the big media cannot avoid a clear assessment:

But Union faction leader Friedrich Merz does not come off well either. His union application also clearly fails. He only gets 172 yes votes. This means that not even all the MEPs of the Union voted for it. There were 497 votes against and nine abstentions.

Before the vote, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) had warned of the negative consequences it would have if MPs did not decide to vaccinate. “The omicron variant was milder because so many had already been vaccinated,” the minister asserted. As always, he had a grim prognosis ready: If the omicron variant remained dominant, 200 to 300 people would continue to die every day. Lauterbach associated this statement with emotional blackmail, which is his trademark: “Do we want to accept that as a society?” as many people are already vaccinated.”

Lauterbach’s appeal to the Union to vote with him also went unheeded. It is not yet clear how the situation will develop in autumn, said CDU MP Tino Sorge. The current situation does not make vaccination compulsory, the topic is too complex. A motion by a cross-party group of MPs led by Wolfgang Kubicki from the FDP against compulsory vaccination did not find a majority either.

As Bloomberg noted, the vote puts a dent in the plans of Germany’s ruling coalition:

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The agreement between senior members of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Free Democrats, which could still change before it’s voted through parliament, includes the option of making Covid shots mandatory for everyone aged 18 or older if the development of the pandemic this fall warrants it, according to a paper published late Tuesday.

Efforts would be made initially to encourage voluntary inoculation for the millions of citizens who still haven’t been vaccinated, according to the proposed law, which is due to go to a vote in the lower house of parliament on Thursday. The order for mandatory vaccination could be reversed in June if enough people have their Covid shots voluntarily by then, the lawmakers said.

“We are united by the goal of effective prevention through the highest possible level of basic immunity for all adults for the fall, because in this way we can prevent the health system from being overwhelmed,” they added.

Scholz wanted compulsory COVID-19 inoculation decided in parliament, starting with Germans age 60+ and eventually all adults.

“This compulsory vaccination from the age of 60 will help us to get through the fall with freedom,” Lars Klingbeil, co-leader of Scholz’s SPD party, said in an interview with RTL television late Tuesday.

But the rejection of mandatory shots for elderly Germans makes compulsory inoculation for all adults more challenging to obtain for Scholz.



 

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