Germany’s parliament has approved mandatory vaccination for anyone working at medical facilities and care homes, where the staff now has three months to obtain their certificates.

The overwhelming majority of Bundestag members – 571 – voted for a revised Infection Protection Act that introduces a vaccine mandate for certain jobs effective March 15, and temporarily authorizes dentists, pharmacists, and vets to administer vaccines.  

The legislation also gives federal states the right to impose on their own, if necessary, some anti-COVID restrictions.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach explained why the new measures were necessary, calling the presence of unvaccinated staff “absolutely unacceptable” in places where vulnerable people are being cared for.

The upper house of parliament has also given the green light to the new measures, as the situation with coronavirus across the country remains critical.

The Robert Koch Institute reported 61,288 new cases and 484 deaths on Friday. A total of 104,996 people have died of Covid in the country.

Despite these shocking numbers, the vaccination level in Germany is lower than in many other EU countries, with only 69.4% fully vaccinated. 

The country’s authorities have supported the idea of compulsory vaccination, with a possible deadline set for February.