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BERLIN: The German government has failed to hit its goal of vaccinating 80% of the population against the coronavirus before the end of January, roughly a month before lawmakers are expected to vote on a draft law on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.

As of Monday, 75.8% of Germans have received at least one vaccine dose, which places the country behind European peers such as Italy, France and Spain, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit did not name a new target date for the 80% goal but said the aim was to raise the vaccination rate going ahead.

Last week German lawmakers debated mandatory vaccination, which has faced resistance from politicians and the general public.

Covid-19 Punjab: 2,385 fresh cases, 6 deaths reported

The three main proposals under consideration include compulsory vaccination for all adults or people above 50, and a requirement for all those who have not had any shots to receive counselling.

The number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over seven days hit a new high in Germany on Monday, ticking up to 1,176.8 from 1,156.8 the day before as the country struggles with a wave of infections with the Omicron coronavirus variant.

That translates to 78,318 new infections reported in one day, the German Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious disease said. In total, over 9.81 million cases have been confirmed so far.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who is set to meet state health ministers later on Monday, has said the daily number of new infections could rise to 400,000 due to Omicron.

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