“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.