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Germany Debates Mandatory Vaccines for Everyone After Austria Announcement

German elected officials are considering introducing making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for everyone, coming days after Austria’s government announced a similar move. Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced last week that COVID-19 vaccines would be mandatory starting Feb. 1, 2022, because the government has “not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated.” The move appeared to prompt Bavarian premier Markus Soder to say that German officials should impose a similar vaccine requirement. “Just like in Austria, we have to discuss the need for a vaccine mandate for everyone from the second half of next year,” Soder said. But Heiko Maas, Germany’s foreign minister and top member of the Social Democrats, said Friday that Austria-style vaccine mandates “won’t happen.” “We don’t see them as necessary and we think that they would be problematic in terms of our constitution,” he told Bild. The debate over mandatory vaccines comes as Germany has seen a spike in …

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