German Ministers Ask for Covid Jabs To Be Made Compulsory

German officials could make vaccinations mandatory, responding to an increase in Covid-19 cases and low inoculation rates.

On Sunday, German politicians said Angela Merkel’s government should impose a compulsory vaccination order soon, following their efforts to push up Germany’s vaccination rate, which is currently under 70%.

Tilman Kuban, head of the youth wing of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), wrote in Die Welt newspaper: “We’ve reached a point at which we must clearly say that we need de facto compulsory vaccination and a lockdown for the unvaccinated.”

Germany recorded 48,201 infections on Saturday, the highest number of new Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began early last year. Also, the country’s seven-day Covid-19 incidence rate was reported to reach 372.7, the highest level since the first coronavirus case was found in 2020.

The incidence rate, which rose to a record high for the fourteenth consecutive day on Sunday, reached 1,000 in some regions, surpassing the 197.6-record registered in December during the third wave of the pandemic.

Germany’s health system has already been overwhelmed, with some hospitals reporting full intensive care units. According to health chiefs, the situation has become “extremely critical.”

Ministers’ and experts’ comments on mandatory Covid-19 shots come after Austria announced a similar plan to require its residents to be vaccinated from February 1 as the government prepares to plunge into a new 20-day lockdown starting today.

Such measures respond to a worrying surge in Covid-19 cases across Europe, which is now facing a fourth Covid-10 wave. The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was the only region in the world where coronavirus-related deaths had increased last week.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said he would not rule out a total lockdown similar to the one Austria imposed last week, saying the country was “in a national emergency.”

“We are now in a situation – even if this produces a news alert – where we can’t rule anything out,” he stated.

Moreover, the Ministry of Health’s senior official Jürgen Graf said that Germany’s situation was extremely critical, adding: “What we are currently doing is crisis management. This is not a problem for Covid patients, it affects everyone.”

The German government had already introduced an order banning unvaccinated people from entering shops and restaurants. It’s not yet clear whether authorities could make vaccinations mandatory immediately or in 2022.