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German lawmakers reject mandatory COVID shots for over-60s

In this April 26, 2021 file photo, a nursing student administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center at UNLV, in Las Vegas (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
In this April 26, 2021 file photo, a nursing student administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center at UNLV, in Las Vegas (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

German lawmakers reject a bill requiring all people 60 and over in the country to be vaccinated against the coronavirus — a compromise solution the government had hoped would get a parliamentary majority.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his health minister originally called for a vaccine mandate to apply to all adults in Germany, but some government lawmakers and most of the opposition balked at the idea.

The vote prompts joy from anti-vaccine activists, who staged a march through Berlin’s government district banging drums, blowing horns and carrying banners with slogans such as “We are the red line” or simply “No.”

The bill was put forward by a cross-party group after months of haggling. It envisaged requiring older people to get the shot, but for there to be compulsory counseling for all adults to help them weigh the advantages and risks of vaccination against COVID-19.

In the end, 378 lawmakers vote against the bill, 296 are in favor and nine abstain.

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