Germany to follow Austria and introduce compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations?
German lawmakers are seriously considering that at the moment
This comes amid a continued surge in infections across the country, which looks to be getting out of control at this point. As of today, Germany has more than 637,000 active COVID-19 cases - close to doubling the previous peak during the Nov-Dec 2020 wave.
Lawmakers are now said to be debating whether to make vaccinations compulsory for citizens in order to try and prevent medical capacity from being overwhelmed.
As of 18 November, German COVID-19 patients needing intensive care (admitted to ICU) rose to 3,376 (it is 3,431 as of 19 November) and while it still isn't as dramatic as previous waves, the trend isn't looking good and there are warning signs to be heeded.
For one, most of the cases now are involving those that are not vaccinated so that is likely to push the number of critical cases (and potentially death rate) higher in the weeks ahead. A breakdown of the German state of Saxony's situation:
Meanwhile, medical capacity isn't exactly helped by the fact that there has been a dwindling amount of ICU beds available across the country over the past year. There are now some 5,000 less beds as compared to the same period last year:
There are only ~2,400 available beds across the country before needing to tap into emergency reserves. But even so, medical staff may not have the resources to cope if things continue down this path.
A reported case in Bavaria in the past week saw two ICU patients relocated to Italy amid a lack of resources, so there are signs that things are getting a little dicey.
This is something worth keeping an eye out for as it does impact Europe's biggest economy and is but a reflection of the trend across some parts in the region.