/ROUNDUP/Steinmeier warns: 'Duty to vaccinate means duty to debate'
ROUNDUP/Steinmeier warns: 'Duty to vaccinate means duty to debate'

ROUNDUP/Steinmeier warns: 'Duty to vaccinate means duty to debate'

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – In the struggle for general corona vaccination, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called for a careful discussion. “Such an extraordinary measure also places our state in an extraordinary obligation to its citizens. In short: obligation to vaccinate means obligation to debate,” said the head of state on Wednesday in Berlin. There is still a dispute about the schedule and the procedure for the deliberations in the Bundestag. Additional vaccine doses are available for vaccinations until the beginning of February. The number of new infections skyrocketed to an all-time high.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz is hoping for speedy advice in the Bundestag on compulsory vaccination. “In any case, I think it is necessary and will actively support it,” said the SPD politician on Wednesday in his first government survey. Not getting vaccinated is not a personal decision, it has consequences for the whole country. Most recently, clinics had to cancel operations to make room for corona patients. “There is no decision that you only make for yourself, and that’s why vaccination is also important.”

The coalition of SPD, FDP and Greens is planning a free vote without parliamentary group specifications on vaccination. Green parliamentary group leader Britta Haßelmann said on ZDF on Wednesday: “We are in talks with other MPs from other parliamentary groups to define the key points of content.” After an “orientation debate” in the Bundestag in the week beginning January 24, she expects that Parliament “will very quickly be confronted with several group applications”. January announced a concrete proposal from the SPD. This should be the basis for a group application together with parliamentarians from other groups. Chancellor Scholz had given the goal of introducing compulsory vaccination by the beginning of February or the beginning of March, the SPD as a time frame a decision “in the first quarter”. The opposition Union, on the other hand, is calling for the government to draft its own law.

With the spread of the omicron variant, the number of new cases recorded in one day exceeded the threshold of 80 for the first time, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). 000. The health authorities have now reported 80,430 cases. A week ago it was 58,912, with gaps in testing and reporting at the turn of the year. The RKI now gave the seven-day incidence as 407.5. The day before, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants was 387.9 in seven days. The highest value was reached at the end of November with 452.4.

FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr suggested examining a “vaccination obligation on trial”. “The obligation to vaccinate could only be introduced for a limited period, for example for a year,” he told the “Rheinische Post” (Wednesday). However, he has not yet made a decision.

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) spoke out in principle in favor of an obligation. “Unfortunately, since all the advertising and requests did not lead to a sufficiently high vaccination rate, we now need the vaccination certificate,” she told the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”. In the legal sense, it is not about mandatory vaccination: “No one will be vaccinated.” But there will have to be “some form of sanction, maybe fines.”

According to the RKI, at least 60 million people or 72.2 percent of the total population now have complete basic protection with the vaccinations that are usually necessary for this get a second injection. At least around 36.8 million vaccinated people or 44.2 percent of all residents have now also received a booster vaccination. Around 714,000 doses of vaccine were injected on Tuesday.

The federal government organized a further five million doses of Biontech (BioNTech (ADRs)) to speed up vaccinations. They should be available from the week of January 24, according to the Ministry of Health. The cans are bought from an EU contingent in Romania that does not need them. In total, around 32 million doses should be available in the three weeks of January 17th, January 24th and 31st – twelve million from Biontech and 20 million from Moderna.

The cabinet brought on Wednesday the legal framework for the planned new corona quarantine rules on the way. This should apply in the future: “Anyone who has been boosted no longer has to be in quarantine as a contact person in the event of an infection,” said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD). This also applies to the Omicron variant. Booster vaccinations therefore made double sense: “It makes everyday life easier. And it protects against infection or serious illness.”

The federal and state governments had basically agreed on the new regulations last week. A corresponding ordinance, which the cabinet has now passed, is intended to specify which general exceptions there can be to quarantine as a contact person for infected people and to isolation as someone who is infected themselves if you are vaccinated or have recovered. The ordinance should come to the Bundestag this Thursday, and the Bundesrat should finally deal with it on Friday. It is expected to go into effect on Saturday. Ultimately, the rules are then implemented by the countries./sam/sk/sku/mfi/höz/DP/eas

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