Germany looks to impose vaccine mandates for health workers

Germany’s new government is looking to impose vaccine mandates for certain types of health workers that would become effective in March, Reuters reported, citing a copy of draft legislation that it reviewed.

The coalition government, which is slated to form later this week, is anticipated to put forward a proposal to parliament that would require nursing home staff, hospital employees and other groups of health workers to either receive the COVID-19 vaccine or show a certificate indicating they would not be able to receive doses before the deadline or had recovered from the virus, the news outlet noted.

The legislation would enforce the mandate beginning on March 16.

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The draft legislation would also temporarily allow pharmacists, dentists and veterinarians who have received adequate training to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, Reuters reported.  

The anticipated legislation comes as Germany encounters a surge of new COVID-19 cases, a situation that may become more complicated in the coming weeks depending on the transmissibility and severity of the new omicron variant.

More than 74,000 COVID-19 cases were detected on Friday in Germany and more than 73,000 were detected the day prior. In early October, case numbers were as low as 5,000 or less.

Roughly 69 percent of the German population is fully vaccinated, per data from Johns Hopkins University. 

Germany has also been the site of demonstrations against COVID-19 restrictions in recent days, including protests in Berlin and Frankfurt. A German state health minister condemned a rally that took place outside her home on Friday evening that had been organized by a right-wing extremist group.

Other European countries, including the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium, have also witnessed demonstrations aimed at measures and restrictions to curb further spread of COVID-19.