German soldiers face vaccination warrant as COVID cases rise – CBS17.com


A person is vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus and COVID-19 disease on a vaccination bus in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. Germany is battling the growing number of coronavirus infections. (Kay Nietfeld / dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) – The German military is making coronavirus injections mandatory for troops amid growing debate in the country over whether to introduce a general vaccine mandate to counter rising rates of infection and hospitalization.

The Defense Ministry on Tuesday confirmed an article by the German military blog Augen Geradeaus that officials and representatives of the soldiers agreed on Monday evening to add the coronavirus vaccine to the list of vaccines soldiers must receive. The measure has yet to be formally added to military regulations, the ministry said in a statement.

As of Monday, 1,215 active cases of coronavirus had been reported among the military and civilian staff of the ministry. Two soldiers have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The national tally of new confirmed cases has increased by 45,326 in the past 24 hours, the national disease control agency said on Tuesday. Another 309 deaths from COVID-19 have also been reported, bringing the total toll since the start of the epidemic to 99,433.

On Monday, the US State Department urged Americans not to travel to Germany due to the increased number of cases and to make sure they are fully vaccinated if they do.

Some German states have tightened the rules for people who have not been vaccinated in recent days and urged people who have not yet done so to get vaccinated.

But a sizable minority have resisted calls to do so, prompting a stern warning from the country’s health minister about the consequences of not getting the vaccine.

“By the end of this winter, just about everyone in Germany (…) will have been vaccinated, cured or died,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday.

About 68% of Germany’s population of 83 million has been fully vaccinated, well below the minimum threshold of 75% targeted by the government.

An association representing doctors in Berlin said on Tuesday that vaccines against the coronavirus should be made compulsory for all – a step already taken in neighboring Austria.

“The time has come for a vaccination warrant,” KV Berlin said in a statement, adding that unvaccinated people should also be required to pay part of the cost of their treatment if they become ill with COVID-19.

Some German politicians, including the conservative governors of the states of Bavaria and Hesse, have supported the idea of ​​mandatory vaccinations. But a spokeswoman for outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear on Monday that she would leave this thorny issue to the next federal government.

In a rare interview, Merkel’s husband, Joachim Sauer, expressed his surprise and anger that so many people remain opposed to the vaccine in Germany, blaming him on German “laziness” and the anti-vaccine ideology that runs through all of them. education levels.

Speaking to Italian daily La Repubblica, the 72-year-old chemist said it was “astonishing that a third of the German population does not pay attention to science”.

When asked how this could be explained, Sauer reportedly replied: “Partly from a certain laziness and complacency among the German people.”

“There has probably always been this attitude in some people, but it has never been so evident as it was during this period,” he said on Tuesday, citing La Repubblica. “And yet, it is precisely now that we are experiencing the great success of science.

Sauer was in Turin to graduate as a new member of the Academy of Sciences.

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Nicole Winfield contributed to this report from Rome.

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Follow all of AP’s stories about the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic


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