Germany’s plans to impose nationwide compulsory vaccination against Covid-19 likely won’t come to fruition any time soon, not due to lack of will but because of bureaucratic hurdles, media reports suggest.
In November, then-designated chancellor Olaf Scholz told Germany’s ZDF broadcaster that he expected a nationwide vaccination mandate to be introduced by February or March. Now, however, the regulation might not be in force until May or even June, the Tagesspiegel daily reported.
The delay is not a sign that Scholz’s government is any less determined to see Germans vaccinated but is merely due to a series of bureaucratic hurdles, the paper said.
The issue is expected to be debated in the Bundestag no sooner than late January – and because of holidays scheduled for most of February, a vote probably won’t be passed until late March. The bill would then go to the Upper House – the Bundesrat – which would likely not approve it until April, meaning the bill would possibly not come into force before early May unless special parliamentary sessions were called, German media said.
Dirk Wiese, an MP responsible for the project and a member of Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), sees no need to hurry. He told Tagesspiegel that the mandate would not have a “short-term” effect anyway and that it is intended more as a “precaution for the coming autumn and winter.”