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Woman being vaccinated
The vaccine mandate has proven controversial in GermanyImage: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa/picture alliance

German court rules health worker vaccine mandate can proceed

February 11, 2022

The mandate requires all employees in care homes, hospitals, doctors' offices and outpatient clinics to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19. An emergency motion had attempted to delay its enforcement.


Germany's Constitutional Court on Friday ruled that a mandate requiring health care workers to present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or recovery from the disease should go into force as planned.

Opponents had sought an injunction to postpone the mandate's application while a legal challenge against its constitutionality is formally reviewed.

A decision on whether the vaccine mandate is constitutional will be ruled on by the court at a later date. The mandate is due to begin on March 15.

What is the vaccine mandate under consideration?

The mandate would require all employees in care homes, hospitals, doctors' offices and outpatient clinics, as well as midwives, physiotherapists and massage therapists, to prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently recovered from the illness.

Germany mandates jab for health care workers

It aims to protect those people who have a particularly high risk of severe illness or death from the disease.

Exceptions would be made for those who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds.

If no proof is forthcoming, health authorities will be informed. They can decide to ban the person in question from entering the facility where they are working or from continuing to exercise their profession.

Why have there been objections?

Some health care authorities have said that investigating individual cases where no proof has been furnished will be too difficult and time consuming.

They also said the mandate could lead to many people leaving the profession rather than comply, resulting in a shortage of personnel in a sector already under considerable strain.

The southern state of Bavaria on Monday went its own way, with State Premier Markus Söder postponing the mandate indefinitely beyond March 15, the date set by the federal government for it to go into force.

Söder justified his decision by saying there were too many undecided questions surrounding the mandate.

tj/wmr (dpa, Reuters)