“Where are we now?” Karl Lauterbach asked on Thursday. In the debate on general vaccination requirements in the German Bundestag. Not much has changed. Next fall Germany will be in the same situation as it is now if universal vaccination is not compulsory. “We have to prepare for the fall,” said the SPD health minister. Otherwise, there is a risk of overloading the health system again. “Then what about the children? The shops?
Of course, in the fall, unvaccinated people with coronavirus will also be treated in hospitals and doctors. However, the minority may no longer be able to determine the life and freedom of the majority. “The non-vaccinators bear the responsibility that we can no longer bear,” Lauterbach said. The whole country will be held hostage by these people. We can no longer stand it.”
Corona vaccination works. It does not prevent injury but rather “bad cycles and death”. Public commitment to vaccination comes too late for an Omikron wave, but it may prevent another wave in the fall. “The year 2022 is the first year that we can end the epidemic in Germany with compulsory vaccination,” Lauterbach said. If you can get a vaccination rate of over 90 percent among people over 60 and one so high in the rest of the population that the waves no longer spread properly, you don’t have to go back to previous infinite loops
Five requests or against compulsory vaccination against corona
In the Bundestag there are a total of five different requests for or against the extension of the requirements for the corona vaccination. The proposal put forward by representatives of the SPD coalition, the Greens and the FDP for compulsory vaccination from the age of 18, currently has the largest number of supporters. It is supported by 236 MPs. However, the majority of the 736 MPs do not.
Therefore, representatives of the group primarily seek the support of the Union faction, which includes 197 deputies. “Don’t wait any longer, follow the path of common sense and precaution with us,” said SPD health politician Heike Berens, at CDU and CSU. She said that if Germany really had a 90 per cent vaccination rate, the number of infections wouldn’t be too high. Three-quarters (75.8 percent) of people in Germany are currently fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) also campaigned for this request. Everything must be done to protect people from the great restrictions on freedom. “People in this country are sick. Let’s finally get rid of this epidemic, let’s get rid of the virus and then return to freedom,” said the Minister of Economy in Parliament. With purely voluntary vaccinations, “we don’t get basic protection in the community.” Moreover: “The interpretation of the freedom of the few must not permanently limit the freedom of the many.”
Vaccination requirement is “dead”
The union did not respond to the coalition’s call. Speakers defended their own group’s draft, which proposes a fallback fortification law, which should only take effect when it becomes necessary. For now, compulsory vaccination is “died,” said Seb Mueller, MP for the CDU.
Opponents of extending the vaccination requirement around the Vice-President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Kupecke (FDP) also remained in their line. Manuel Hofferlin (FDP) said he strongly recommends vaccination, but that it does not justify any obligation. Vulnerable groups should be protected “but not from themselves”. Green MP Tabea Rößner said that compulsory vaccination is difficult to justify if it is primarily to protect oneself, but not to protect others, because it does not provide sufficient protection against infection as is the case today.
Left-wing politician Gregor Gezi also rejects the introduction of compulsory vaccination against Corona. I am strongly against the general obligation to vaccinate. I was with measles because it eliminated the disease. The vaccine doesn’t do that here. 30,000 people a day should be convinced that this can be done. Fines are the wrong way.
The leader of the AfD’s parliamentary group, Alice Fidel, has called on advocates of universal vaccination to withdraw their applications. “You’re riding a dead horse, please get off,” she says. The arguments for compulsory vaccination were weak from the start and have since crumbled like a house of cards. “There is no legitimate and constitutionally permissible justification for introducing compulsory vaccination against Covid-19.” This violates basic fundamental rights.
First advice, then compulsory vaccination as a compromise
As a potential compromise, Parliament’s Fifth Group on MP and contagion scientist Andrew Ullman (FDP) has promoted their proposal, which provides only mandatory vaccination advice and vaccination for people over 50 if the advice does not lead to an adequate increase in the vaccination rate. Ullman said vaccination should only be a last resort: “We trust people will make the right decision.” Paula Pichota (Greens) said the limited vaccination requirement could also help reduce the number of infections.
As a representative of the federal states, Bremen Mayor Andreas Buffenshult (SPD) campaigned for compulsory vaccination in the Bundestag debate. He reminded the Bundestag that the prime ministers of the 16 federal states had repeatedly spoken in favor of universal vaccination. “If we only have the choice between the constant threat of closure and compulsory vaccination, we have to choose compulsory vaccination.”
Chancellor Olaf Schultz (SPD) spoke again in favor of compulsory vaccination. He explains on Twitter: “My personal position has been known for a long time: I am in favor of obtaining a temporary general vaccination certificate.” “All the experience of the past two years speaks volumes for that. We have all given up on so much for so long now. We must never jeopardize what we have achieved again.”
In the first week of April, Parliament is due to vote to introduce a general commitment to vaccination.