BERLIN (AP) – German lawmakers are debating a bill Friday that would require staff at hospitals and nursing homes to get vaccinated against the coronavirus or risk losing their jobs.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told parliament it was unconscionable that some who work with particularly vulnerable people are still not vaccinated.
The bill, which is being fast-tracked and is likely to pass, is the first of two vaccine mandates being considered in Germany.
A second, more contentious bill that would make COVID-19 shots compulsory for all is being prepared and could be debated by parliament next month.
The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is opposed to the universal vaccine mandate, and some members of other parties, including the former health minister in Angela Merkel’s departed government, have also said they will vote against that measure.
According to official figures, about 69.4 per cent of Germany’s population of 83 million are fully vaccinated.