German Health Minister calls for mandatory vaccinations from 'April or May'

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
German Health Minister calls for mandatory vaccinations from 'April or May'
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach speaks at a press conference in Berlin on Friday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

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.


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.


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.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

guzel.fargatovna 2022/01/20 08:41
Thanks God some rational comments in regard to this topic.
cflynn2388 2022/01/19 20:55
Well according to Google. Auschwitz is only temporarily closed.
wadeizzel 2022/01/19 20:13
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.
sotiris.matzanas 2022/01/19 19:52
Yes!!! Let's round them up in trains, move them to certain cramped spaces and then "deal" with them! That worked miracles in 1940!
sotiris.matzanas 2022/01/19 19:31
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.
denise.gilliamhill 2022/01/19 18:41
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.
cflynn2388 2022/01/19 17:24
This is a very polite comment. Welcome to the conversation. Have a star.
nick_cloy 2022/01/19 16:10
The sooner the plague-rat anti-vax nutters are forced to stop spreading diseases that kill people the better
careyjg 2022/01/19 15:17
Scary stuff. We have to stop this slide into mandatory madness.
cflynn2388 2022/01/19 13:12
An he's back to looking like a 1930's caricature of some guy that was around back then.
cflynn2388 2022/01/19 11:32
Unfortunately and the most terrifyingly. There are people who actually support this move.
stuart.laing 2022/01/19 11:14
Unbelievable. Clearly the echoes from history are falling on deaf ears.

See Also