Scholz rules out new attempt for mandatory vaccination

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Fri 8th Apr, 2022

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has regretted the failure of a general Corona vaccination obligation, but sees no basis for a renewed attempt. The parliament's statement was very clear, the SPD politician said Thursday evening in Berlin. "There is no legislative majority in the Bundestag for mandatory vaccination. That is the reality that we must now take as a starting point for our actions."

Earlier, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and his Bavarian colleague Klaus Holetschek (CSU) had spoken out in favor of taking a new approach to a general vaccination obligation. He would continue to try to "achieve compulsory vaccination by the fall to avoid unnecessary victims in the fall," Lauterbach affirmed in the "Bild" newspaper (Friday). "As a doctor and as a politician, I never give up when it comes to other people's lives."

On Deutschlandfunk radio Friday morning, Lauterbach again said that while one should never refuse to engage in conversations. Nevertheless, he shared "Olaf Scholz's assessment that the probability that we will still achieve anything through talks is very low."The parliamentary director of the Greens, Till Steffen, said on ZDF that a new vote would be possible "only on the basis of a decision by the federal government. There had not been one. The FDP, which had also ensured the removal of the general protective measures, had pushed through a release of the vote without factional discipline. The compromise proposal of several deputies, supported by Scholz, for compulsory vaccination, initially from the age of 60, then clearly failed, as did all other proposals.

The current head of the Conference of Minister Presidents, Hendrik Wüst (CDU) of North Rhine-Westphalia, is also skeptical that the Bundestag will make a second attempt to make vaccination mandatory. He believes that this will not happen, Wüst said in the evening after a meeting of the states with Scholz.

In the view of Carsten Watzl, secretary general of the German Immunological Society, a new parliamentary attempt would come too late anyway. "A vaccination obligation, which would be decided only in the fall, would have hardly an acute effect on the then upcoming wave, and one would have to counteract again with other measures," he told the "Augsburger Allgemeine" (Friday). "The worst that could happen was no agreement at all."

And now? "Germany will be poorly positioned for next fall," predicted World Medical Association Chairman Frank Ulrich Montgomery in the same newspaper. If many more don't get vaccinated, "we'll be talking and arguing about lockdown and contact limits again next fall and winter."

Chancellor Scholz promised: "We will do everything we can to ensure that we nevertheless convince even more citizens to get vaccinated." To do this, he said, it is now important to focus on the opportunities for action that are there. There are a number of approaches that have been discussed and have been part of the proposals. The point is to get to the people. Here we have to see "whether we can still use a little of this part for the future. One part of the now unrealized approaches in the Bundestag had been, among other things, an obligation to provide vaccination advice.

Lauterbach announced a new vaccination campaign one day after the vote in the Bundestag. It should be aimed at previously unvaccinated people who are "but in principle ready". We know that there is such a group, especially among people with a migration background, he said on Deutschlandfunk radio. "They have to be reached, we can't give up there. By the way, we also have to be more creative in our advertising. That's where we're preparing something right now." Currently, the vaccination campaign has virtually come to a standstill. On a weekly average, there are a good 36,000 vaccinations per day; at the beginning of the campaign, there had been over one million in some cases. According to Lauterbach, an adjustment of the Infection Protection Act is also necessary for the fall.

Meanwhile, the nationwide seven-day incidence has continued to fall. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week on Friday morning with 1181.2. A week ago, the nationwide incidence was 1586.4. Health offices in Germany reported 175,263 new infections to the RKI within one day. This is according to figures reflecting the status of the RKI dashboard as of 05:00. When looking at the values, it must be taken into account that individual countries do not report data on every day of the week.

Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya


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