Featured Image

BERLIN (LifeSiteNews) –A majority of German MPs have rejected a bill to make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for citizens over 60. 

Out of the 683 MPs gathered at the German parliament for the Thursday vote, 378 voted against the measure, 296 said they were in favor, and 9 abstained.  

German lawmakers have been debating for months the introduction of a mandatory vaccination policy for all its citizens over 18, similar to the one introduced in Austria.  

The rejected bill had been pushed through by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his health minister Karl Lauterbach who, back in March, blamed the unvaccinated for ongoing COVID restrictions, saying that they were “currently responsible for us not getting anywhere.” 

The proposal was referred to as a “compromise” by members from the so called “traffic light coalition” composed of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens, as it would have made vaccination mandatory for people over 60 only.  

Had the bill passed, it would have meant that everyone over 60 would have been required to show proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 by October 15. The bill would have also imposed a compulsory “counselling session on vaccination” for all citizens between 18-59 years of age by May 15.  

The vote was preceded by an intense series of debates in the past few weeks, the last of which took place this morning and lasted for more than three hours.  

One party which made its opposition to the vaccine mandate heard loud and clear was the Alternative for Germany (AfD) which voted unanimously against the bill.  

In a speech preceding the vote, AfD leader Alice Weidel described the mandate as “totalitarian” and “radically unconstitutional.” 

Her sentiments were shared by senior member of the FDP Wolfgang Kubicki who argued that “it is not the job of this house to protect adults against their own will.” 

The results of the vote were welcomed by thunderous applause from the AfD faction. Leader Weidel tweeted: “Without the votes from the AfD, mandatory vaccination would now be a reality. The coalition was 40 votes short of reaching a majority [for its proposal]. This is a victory for freedom, which would not have been possible without the AfD. It makes me proud to belong to this faction.” 

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expressed his concerns on Twitter following the rejection of his bill, warning of a “harder fight” against COVID next fall.  

The German health minister frequently hints at an upcoming end-of-year COVID wave in his defence for mandatory vaccination. 

“It is a very important decision because now the fight against corona in Autumn has become much more difficult. Laying political blame does not help. We move on,” tweeted Lauterbach. 

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.