Germany weighs making COVID vaccine mandatory

BERLIN (AP) — Lawmakers in Germany are considering making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, as new confirmed cases hit a record high.

At the same time, however, some officials are in favor of relaxing social restrictions.

The country’s health agency reported

294,931 new cases in the last 24 hours. There are another 278 COVID deaths, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 126,420, he added.

The final decision on whether to make vaccinations mandatory will most likely not come for several weeks.

Those who oppose this measure have suggested making the vaccine mandatory only for people over 50 years of age, while others reject it completely.

Even though Germany’s infection rate is higher than many neighboring countries, some officials have come out in favor of plans to let some of the restrictions expire on Sunday.

“It’s a step towards normality and in my opinion that’s what we need,” Finance Minister Christian Lindner told ARD radio.

The government wants Germany’s 16 states to decide for themselves what restrictions to keep rather than dictate it at the national level.

The German pro-industry group BDI has warned that it is not a good idea to apply “a generous” lifting of restrictions, saying that would be irresponsible in view of the increase in infections.

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