COVID-19: Germany on the road to compulsory vaccination

COVID-19: Germany on the road to compulsory vaccination

MISE & Agrave; DAY

Compulsory vaccination against COVID-19, which Germany refused to hear about a few months ago, will be the subject of a bill submitted to parliament before the end of the year to try to stem the outbreak of infections, announced Tuesday the future Chancellor Olaf Scholz. & nbsp;

By this spectacular turnaround, the first European economy hopes to convince a maximum of citizens to choose the vaccine before it becomes imperative if MEPs decide.

“Too many people have not been vaccinated,” Scholz told Bild TV. & Nbsp;

Making vaccines compulsory is justified “to protect us all,” he said added, specifying that he wanted parliamentarians to take up the subject and put it to a vote by the end of the year for entry into force in February or March.

The next Social Democratic chancellor, who is expected to take office next week, was speaking after an emergency meeting with outgoing leader Angela Merkel, the future coalition and the heads of regions to discuss various measures intended to fight the fourth wave of infections.

Germany had so far ruled out the radical option of imposing vaccination, adopted by the Austrian neighbor. & nbsp;

Olaf Scholz also spoke out against such a measure during his election campaign, in a country where restrictions against COVID-19 have sharply divided public opinion.

On Tuesday, he expressed his support for such a measure, his entourage told AFP.

“Dramatic” situation

The debate on this The question has gained momentum in recent weeks as the country is hit hard by the rebound in contaminations.

At the end of Tuesday's meeting, “all agree that the fourth wave of the pandemic has led to an extremely serious, sometimes dramatic situation at the regional level, in our health system, to which the federal state and the Länder will react together and with determination, ”the Chancellery said in a statement, a few days before the departure of Ms. Merkel.

The health situation remains very tense, with an incidence rate of 452 on Tuesday. , 2 per 100,000 inhabitants.

First priority, according to the chancellery: continue the vaccination campaign.

“By Christmas, up to 30 million initial, secondary and booster vaccinations should be possible,” according to the Chancellery, in favor of “the circle of people authorized to practice vaccination is considerably enlarged.”

The vaccination obligation was recently decided on for staff in nursing homes and hospitals, as well as soldiers of the Bundeswehr, and should come into force soon.

The conservative CDU camp/CSU of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is about to go into opposition, now supports compulsory vaccination.

And according to the daily Welt, a large majority of environmental deputies, who will govern with the Social Democrats, are also in favor.

Patchwork

La vaccination campaign has enabled the full vaccination of around 57 million people (68.5%) on that date.

Compulsory vaccination, long rejected by a majority of Germans, is now demanded by almost two-thirds of them (64%), according to a recent RTL and ntv media poll.

Other measures should be discussed Thursday, including “the introduction of significant contact restrictions, especially for unvaccinated people, including during private meetings” or “the extension of 2G rules (vaccinated or cured, editor's note) retail trade ”and“ restrictions at major events ”.

“ What must happen is absolutely clear: contacts must be reduced ”, summed up the next vice-chancellor, the environmentalist Robert Habeck.

Several hard-hit regions in Germany have already canceled Christmas markets and barred unvaccinated people from entering public spaces such as gyms and recreation centers.

Many officials, however, believe that the patchwork of rules is a source of confusion and wants to standardize the restrictions at the national level.

The German Constitutional Court on Tuesday confirmed these calls for a new turn of the screw by deeming legal the radical restrictions imposed at the beginning of pandemic to contain infections, including curfews, school closures and exit restrictions. & nbsp;

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