BERLIN (AP) – German lawmakers who proposed a requirement for all adults to be vaccinated against COVID-19 sought a compromise on Monday after struggling to win a majority in parliament, suggesting a less sweeping mandate that would initially oblige everyone aged 50 and above to get shots.

Olaf Scholz said shortly before becoming chancellor in December that he favoured a vaccine mandate for all adults. But amid deep divisions on the issue within his governing coalition, he left it to lawmakers to come up with legislation rather than having the government draw up rules.

Ahead of votes expected in parliament Thursday, there appeared to be no clear majority for any of a variety of proposals – ranging from the proposed mandate for all adults to bills explicitly opposing any mandate at all.

The 237 lawmakers who backed a mandate for all adults are now proposing a plan under which people aged 50 and above would be required to prove that they have been vaccinated starting Oct. 1, news agency dpa reported.

Other adults who aren’t vaccinated would be required to show that they have at least received counselling on the issue. Parliament could decided after its summer break, taking into account the progress of the pandemic and of vaccination, whether there should also be a vaccination mandate for under-50s.

Some 76 per cent of Germany’s population of 83 million has received a full first course of vaccination and 58.8 per cent also have received a booster shot. Officials aren’t satisfied with the number of older people in particular who have been vaccinated.

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