German Ethics Council Supports Vaccination Obligation

The German Ethical Council agrees with a vaccination obligation for a significant part of the population. That is a boost for Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who favours a general injection obligation for his compatriots. Parliament is expected to vote on this early next year.


German authorities had asked the so-called Ethikrat for advice on expanding the vaccination obligation, which already applies to certain professions. A majority of the council supports tightening the policy but does attach conditions to it. For example, Germans should be given the option to choose their own corona vaccine as much as possible.

There was disagreement within the council about which groups should be subject to an injection obligation. Thirteen of the twenty members believe that this measure could apply to all adults. Other members saw more in a vaccination obligation that only applies to people with a high risk of a serious disease course.

The new chief of government, Scholz, has announced a free vote in parliament. This means that parliamentarians do not have to follow their party’s position on the vaccination obligation. In Europe, Austria has already decided on a general vaccination obligation. This should start next February. Vaccine refusers risk a fine.

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