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Germany seeks forceful COVID-19 vaccination of citizens

Germany has emphasised the importance of introducing compulsory vaccinations to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

“We have to accept that even compulsory vaccination is never going to reach everybody,’’ German Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach, told the Welt newspaper’s Sunday edition.

He said if the measure is introduced, a large group of unvaccinated people will get vaccinated.

Mr Lauterbach stressed that he hoped compulsory vaccinations would protect the population sufficiently in the future.

“We cannot get into a situation where one summer is deceptively good, but new variants surprise us in the autumn – and without the broad majority of the population being vaccinated.

The health minister also emphasised the necessity of introducing mandatory COVID vaccinations despite the spread of the Omicron variant, which is said to carry a lower risk of severe symptoms but is more transmissible than other strains of the virus.

“An Omicron infection doesn’t necessarily make you immune to the next viral variant. The belief that the Omicron variant is the end of the pandemic is naive,’’ Mr Lauterbach said.

So far, Germany has not made coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for any group.

German leaders on Friday announced that they would relax quarantine rules across the country while bringing in additional restrictions for restaurants and bars, in response to fears of a surge in coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, the government raised its vaccination rate target for achieving so-called herd immunity against the coronavirus.

(dpa/NAN)

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