Germany debates compulsory vaccination as fourth wave of COVID rages on – .

Germany debates compulsory vaccination as fourth wave of COVID rages on – .

BERLIN, November 21 (Reuters) – German politicians are debating the requirement for citizens to be vaccinated against COVID-19 given the spike in infections and low vaccination rates.

Several members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc said on Sunday that federal and state governments should introduce mandatory vaccinations as soon as other efforts to raise Germany’s low vaccination rate by just 68% have failed.

“We have reached a point where we need to make it clear that we need a de facto mandatory vaccination and a lockdown for the unvaccinated,” wrote Tilman Kuban, head of the Christian Union youth wing. Democrat (CDU) of Merkel, in the newspaper Die Welt. .

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Germany’s seven-day coronavirus incidence rate reached its highest level since the start of the pandemic for the 14th consecutive day Sunday, reaching 372.7 nationwide.

In some areas, it has exceeded 1,000, with some hospitals already reporting full intensive care units. The record for the third wave of the pandemic last December was 197.6.

Overall, 5.35 million coronavirus infections have been reported in Germany since the pandemic began in February 2020. The total death toll stands at 99,062.

Bavarian State Prime Minister Markus Soeder has called for a swift decision to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory while Schleswig-Holstein State Prime Minister Daniel Guenther said authorities should at least discuss such a measure to increase the pressure on unvaccinated citizens.

Danyal Bayaz, an influential member of the Minister of Greens and Finance in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg where infection rates are very high, said it would be a mistake at this stage of the pandemic to rule out compulsory vaccination.

The Greens are currently in talks with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the Free Democratic Libertarians (FDP) to form a three-party coalition government at the federal level.

The three parties are in the process of concluding a coalition deal that would pave the way for outgoing SPD finance minister Olaf Scholz to succeed Merkel as chancellor in the first half of December.

Scholz said he wanted a debate on whether to make vaccination mandatory for healthcare workers and geriatric nurses. FDP members have expressed their objections to such a measure, as the party places more emphasis on individual freedom.

Neighboring Austria this week announced a plan to make vaccines mandatory next year.

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Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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