This is a blow for the German government. This failed, Thursday, April 7, to get the deputies to vote on the obligation to vaccinate against Covid from the age of 60.
This compulsory vaccination project was a promise of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, bogged down for several months. It was rejected by the deputies, obtaining only 296 votes in favor and 378 votes against. Nine members of the lower house of the German parliament abstained.
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The snub is significant for the successor of Angela Merkel, who spoke out in the fall for compulsory vaccination for all adults, promised for “late February or early March”. But the new social-democratic chancellor was unable to bring behind him all of the three parties in his government coalition, bringing together social-democrats, ecologists and liberals, nor the conservative opposition.
A highly mobilized anti-vaccine movement
The subject remains thorny in a Germany where the anti-vaccine movement is strongly mobilized. The liberals of the FDP in particular have held back for months on the idea of a vaccination obligation.
Despite a bill ultimately partially emptied of its substance, with an obligation reserved only for those over 60, the government was unable to unite around its proposed majority in the Bundestag.
The Chancellor, criticized in recent months for his discretion and lack of leadership, even drew sarcasm by forcing his head of diplomacy, Annalena Baerbock, to leave a NATO meeting in Brussels on Ukraine to come participate in the vote, several media reported.
Some 76% of the population received two doses
The health situation remains degraded in Germany, which has recorded more than 200,000 new cases of Covid every 24 hours in recent days. The seven-day incidence rate exceeds 1,200.
Some 76% of the population received two doses of the vaccine. Only 58.9% of Germans have received a booster dose against Covid, according to the Robert Koch Institute.