Germany’s top court has approved a mandate for health workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Federal Constitutional Court announced on Thursday that it had rejected complaints against the measure, which came into effect in mid-March.
The court said that the importance of protecting vulnerable people in hospitals and care homes outweighs any infringement of health workers’ rights.
Judges had previously refused to issue an injunction blocking the rules from coming into effect.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach welcomed Thursday’s ruling, saying that “the state is obliged to protect vulnerable groups.”
Lauterbach also thanked health facilities that have implemented the mandate, arguing that they have helped prevent more deaths from the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz initially propose to extend the vaccine mandate to all adults, but such plans were rejected by lawmakers.
Almost 76% of Germany’s population has received two vaccines against the coronavirus, while nearly 60% has also received a booster shot.
Demand for vaccination is currently very low, but the government has approved spending more money on new vaccines that will allow the country to deal with possible future variants.