Germany will once again miss its 80 percent vaccination goal after the federal government postponed the target to the end of January.
At present, just under 75 percent of Germans are fully vaccinated. Slightly more than half have received a booster dose, putting Germany behind other Western European countries. With the omicron variant significantly increasing case numbers, German lawmakers have discussed mandating COVID-19 vaccination.
Many believe a vaccine requirement will increase vaccination rates, while others oppose the concept. The public’s support for obligatory vaccinations, however, has grown over time. In the summer of 2021, polling suggested no clear direction, but by November, there was strong support for the mandate.
Vaccine opponents continue to defy hygiene regulations, protesting in the streets in unofficial demonstrations that have regularly featured violence and far-right participation.
According to a recent YouGov poll commissioned by the German news agency DPA, 60 percent of Germans support mandatory vaccinations, while 32 percent oppose them. Lawmakers have highlighted the complexity of the mandate debate, referencing arguments of medical ethics and ethics of conscience. The polling, however, suggests it is likely vaccine mandates may soon be imposed in response to the prevalence of the delta and omicron variants.
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Laura is a research analyst on the Current Developments team. Presently undertaking a Juris Doctor, her areas of expertise include human rights and international law. Laura contributes to the daily brief, typically on matters within Europe and the Asia-Pacific.