Germany debates privileges for those who’ve been vaccinated

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states are discussing whether people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should be exempt from certain restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states on Monday discussed whether people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should be exempt from certain restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

The issue of special privileges for vaccinated people has been hotly debated in Germany, as in other countries.

Some have argued it’s unfair on those who haven’t been able to get the shot yet. Others say restrictions on civil liberties are justified while people pose a risk to others.

The head of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats said he wants swift clarity on the issue of privileges for vaccinated people and those who’ve recovered from a COVID-19 infection.

After a sluggish start, Germany — like other European Union countries — has seen vaccination rates rise sharply in recent weeks.

Official figures show that some 23.4% of the population had received at least one dose of vaccine by Sunday. About 7.2% of Germany’s 83 million inhabitants have so far received both shots.

Other issues being discussed at the meeting include whether and when to end the practice of prioritizing vaccinations for particularly vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.

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