Debate on Compulsory Vaccination: “The Way of Reason” or “Dead Horse”?

Status: 03/17/2022 1:46 PM

In general, for everyone over the age of 50 or no one: there is a whole range of opinions in the Bundestag on the topic of compulsory vaccination against corona. In the first debate, supporters and opponents argued sharply against each other.

The Bundestag has begun deliberations on extending the obligation to vaccinate against the Corona virus. In the first debate, the SPD parliamentary group’s health policy spokeswoman, Heike Berens, called for compulsory vaccination from the age of 18 and called on the union’s parliamentary group in particular to join the proponents’ proposal. “We have to basically create the conditions to ensure that we are not overwhelmed by another wave of infection,” she told the plenum.

According to Berens, the cross-party movement by a parliamentary group is supported by 237 deputies from four parliamentary groups. A high vaccination rate should be achieved by the fall. The more people who are protected by vaccination, the faster one can return to social life without restrictions. A general commitment to vaccination is a “real way to prevent,” Behrens said.

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The SPD politician explained that if Germany really had a 90 per cent vaccination rate, the number of infections wouldn’t be too high. He appealed to the Byrnes, addressing the Federation: “Wait no more, go with us on the path of prudence!”

Lauterbach: “Take a unique opportunity”

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has again urged the introduction of a general commitment to vaccination. “We can end the epidemic in Germany for the first time with compulsory vaccination,” said the SPD politician. “We’d be in the same place in the fall as we are now if we didn’t seize this unique opportunity together.”

Lauterbach emphasized that the existing vaccines work to prevent serious diseases and death. “The probability that we will not encounter any difficulties in combating the Corona pandemic in the fall is close to zero,” the Social Democratic Party politician said, targeting the expected additional waves of the virus. “You’ll almost certainly have no fall at all.” Lauterbach explained that the issue of overburdening the health system would then arise again and the restrictions would have to be discussed. He said that then the whole country would once again be “hostage to this group” that wants to assert itself against global scientific evidence, with regard to people who are still not immune. “The non-vaccinators currently are responsible for the fact that we are not making any progress.”

The union wants to vaccinate for the “acute case”

The Union faction submitted the proposal, which currently has the second largest support group. It states that the prerequisites for the implementation of compulsory vaccination should be established, but a decision on the introduction should be made only in acute cases. It’s already time, Berens said. Nearly 300,000 new infections were reported to the Robert Koch Institute within 24 hours on Thursday.

CDU MP Seb Mueller did not respond to Berens’ request, but campaigned for his own request. For now, Mueller said, compulsory vaccination is “died.” It does not have a majority in Parliament. CDU politician Tino Sorge said there was no guarantee that compulsory vaccination would help now because a possible new type of coronavirus and effective vaccines against it were not yet known.

More applications from FDP and AfD

In addition to these two initiatives, there is a draft by a group led by FDP Member of Parliament Andrew Ullmann for a commitment to counseling and subsequently a possible commitment to vaccination from age 50. His party member Manuel Hoferlin opposed any commitment to vaccination and thus supported the initiative of FDP leader Wolfgang Kubicki. Vaccination prevents serious illness or death. However, this does not lead to an obligation. He noted that Austria had now suspended the vaccination requirement introduced there. Everyone who prefers to wear a mask instead of being vaccinated can decide to do so.

The Alternative for Germany party also submitted a request. Group leader Alice Fidel called on advocates of universal vaccination to withdraw their proposals. “You’re riding a dead horse, please take it down,” she said in the debate. 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 the introduction of compulsory vaccination against COVID-19. This violates basic rights.

After the first consultation in Parliament, an expert hearing is scheduled for next Monday. It is then expected that the Bundestag will make its decision at the beginning of April without the usual specifications of a parliamentary bloc.

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