In a stinging defeat for Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition, 378 MPs voted against the bill, while 296 voted in favour.
Scholz, who in late November touted compulsory jabs for all adults as the surest way out of the pandemic, had set a goal of introducing the jabs in “late February or early March”.
The bill saw two groups of pro-vaccine MPs from the SPD, Greens and FDP join forces to put forward a “compromise” bill that they believed would attract maximal cross-party support.
If passed, it would have required over-60s to present proof of triple-vaccination against Covid-19 by October 1st, 2022, unless they had a medical exemption.
Under the proposals set out in the draft law, people between the ages of 18 and 59 would have been required to undergo a consultation with their doctor to discuss the possibility of getting a Covid jab.
The plans had faced fierce opposition during a debate in the Bundestag on Thursday morning, with politicians from the AfD, Left Party and CDU/CSU lining up to criticise the bill.
As the results were announced, loud cheers and applause came from AfD politicians seated in the right-hand corner of the Bundestag, as the speaker called on MPs to treat the issue with the “seriousness it warrants”.
MPs also voted against a motion from the opposition CDU/CSU parties that would have mandated the introduction of a general vaccine register and paved the way for a targeted vaccine mandate for certain professions and vulnerable groups.
Two motions against a vaccine mandate were also voted down in the Bundestag on Thursday.
The first, presented by a group of politicians around Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) had argued for improvements to the vaccination campaign rather than a general mandate, while the second, from the AfD, stated that a vaccine mandate would be ineffective and unconstitutional.
Parliamentarians had been allowed to vote with their conscience on the issue rather than being whipped along party lines.