German police cannot vaccinate people by force

20th May 2020

Claim

German police can enter homes and forcibly vaccinate people.

Conclusion

This is not true, and there is no evidence of this happening.

A screenshot of a post shared hundreds of times on Facebook claims that German police can enter people’s homes and forcibly vaccinate them. This is not true. 

The post says: “In Germany we face the force [sic] vaccination on the 15th!! So in 11 days the police will have the right to come into my home and force the needle into my body. We need help!”

It is not possible to tell from the screenshot of the post when it was written. The post also does not specify which vaccination it is referring to. It has been shared with the caption “Here you go! Forced vaccination, people better wake up and fast.”

German fact checking and investigative journalism organisation Correctiv told Full Fact that the claim in the Facebook post was “completely false”. 

It is true that a recent change in the law in Germany means that measles vaccinations are now compulsory for children, and parents who refuse to vaccinate their children can face fines and possible bans from nurseries or schools. However, this does not mean police can come into homes and forcibly vaccinate people themselves. This law came into force on 2 March 2020, not the 15th of any month.

Correctiv said the reference to the 15th has been circulating amongst German conspiracy theorists, and originates from a change in the epidemic law that was accepted by the German parliament—the Bundestag—on 14 May in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This law initially suggested the introduction of an immunity identification card, which could be used to show you have already had the new coronavirus or have been vaccinated and so you could be exempt from measures like the lockdown. This idea proved to be unpopular and was dropped. The law passed by the Bundestag on 14 May does not include an identification card. 

However, Correctiv said this idea of an immunity identification card became linked with fears about forced vaccination, despite the heads of both the Robert Koch Institute (the German public health institute) and the German Chancellory insisting there were no plans for compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations when a vaccine does become available. 

Regarding the measles vaccines, Correctiv said the police will never come to a person’s home and force a vaccination.They have fact checked this claim after a video of politician Rudolf Henke was cut to make it appear he was saying the police would come to your house, when actually he said the opposite. 

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) has also reported on conspiracy theories growing around fears of a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Full Fact contacted the Facebook user who wrote the post to try and clarify what exactly she meant, but it was not clear from her response whether she was referring to a vaccine for measles, Covid-19 or something else. She declined to answer more questions.