Germany pledges to stick with vaccine mandates despite Austria U-turn

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's support for a general vaccine mandate "has not changed," his spokesman said on Thursday, after Austria backed out of a similar plan for its adult population.

Germany pledges to stick with vaccine mandates despite Austria U-turn
A woman demonstrated against vaccine mandates in Frankfurt in February. Photo: dpa | Frank Rumpenhorst

“We need universal vaccination coverage to prepare for the fall and winter,” government spokesman Wolfgang Büchner said. He added that Scholz had the support of all 16 of Germany’s state leaders on this issue.

On Wednesday, Austria confirmed that it was suspending the plan. Austria was the only other country in Europe that had gone down the path of a general vaccine mandate for all adults.

Austria’s government said the law would be “put on hold” due to the fact that the milder symptoms associated with the dominant Omicron variant no longer justified such an intrusion into personal rights.

In both Germany and Austria, the plans to take choice away from the individual on Covid vaccines has proved highly contentious with opponents organising sizeable demonstrations against the proposed measures.

There had been speculation for several weeks that Austria would postpone its compulsory vaccine programme.

In Germany, two bills for vaccine mandates are set to be voted on by the Bundestag a the beginning of April.

A bill brought forward by the SPD’s deputy faction leader Dirk Wiese proposes a vaccine mandate for all adults in Germany. Another brought by the FDP’s Andrew Ullmann proposes a mandate for everyone aged 50 and over.

Currently, some three quarters of the Germany population have been vaccinated twice against Covid-19 while 57 percent of the population have also received a booster jab.

READ MORE: German parliament to vote on general vaccine mandate in April

Member comments

  1. Im sure my comment will be silenced. But I’ll have a punt anyways.
    Austria canceled their mandate after the pfizer paper release. The papers the FDA and pfizer wanted locked away for over 50 years.
    These papers showed the vaccine to be completely safe with only 158,000 adverse reactions . And only 1223 deaths and only 9400 unknown outcomes.
    But they have redacted how many doses were safely administered. So we don’t know percentages. And it’s only for like. 3 months as the remainder of the time still haven’t been released.
    The risk vs reward factor has changed. Not just a little, its completely changed.
    I would love to know how many politicians have shares in the phama industries because to still be pushing for this. Its bordering on either incompetence or criminality. Or both.

  2. So they are ignoring the latest news about the damage and deaths that were hidden by pfizer. Information is now coming out a out damage to the natural immune system and how successful the Ivermectin studies have been. I suggest people watch John Campbells (UK) videos. He cant be absolutely blunt about what he really thinks as YT would ban him and still Germany pushing the so called vaccine.
    The medical experts who tried to warn the public were silenced but now they are speaking up and being listened to. Still havent seen campaigns promoting vitamin D3 here.

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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