German Soldiers Face Vaccine Mandate as COVID Cases Spike

As COVID-19 illnesses continue to climb across Germany, the German military is preparing to make coronavirus immunizations mandatory for troops.

The German military blog Augen Geradeaus reported on Tuesday that authorities and soldiers’ representatives decided late Monday to add the coronavirus injection to the list of immunizations troops must get. According to the ministry, the provision still has to be formally introduced to military rules.

As of Monday, the military and civilian employees at the ministry had recorded 1,215 active COVID-19 instances.

The number of newly confirmed cases in the country increased by 45,326 in the last 24 hours, according to the country’s disease control organization. COVID-19 has claimed the lives of another 309 people, bringing the overall death toll to 99,433 since the epidemic began.

Because of the escalating case counts, the US State Department advised Americans not to travel to Germany and to make sure they are properly vaccinated if they do.

In recent days, some German states have tightened requirements for unvaccinated persons and pushed those who haven’t had the vaccine to do so.

However, a sizable minority has refused to comply, causing the country’s health minister to issue a harsh warning about the dangers of not getting vaccinated.

“By the end of this winter, almost everyone in Germany (…) will have been vaccinated, recovered, or perished,” said Jens Spahn, Germany’s health minister.

Around 68 percent of Germany’s 83 million people have been completely vaccinated, much behind the government’s target of 75 percent.

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