As the situation surrounding vaccination obligations becomes more and more tense in Germany, some are taking their frustration out on health care workers as a demonstration of opposition.
In the latest violent incident involving anti-vaxxers, one man got physical with a nurse and another healthcare worker after they declined to provide him with a vaccination certificate. According to police reports, on Saturday, 4 September, a nurse and her assistant suffered injuries at a shopping centre in Gera, a city in the state of Thuringia.
The man in question demanded he'd be given a proof of vaccination despite never having received a dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines. The two victims were quickly rushed to a hospital to treat their wounds which meant that they were unable to continue vaccinating people at the shopping centre.
They have since been discharged from the hospital. Nicholas Potter, a researcher from the Amadeu Antonio Foundation that has been studying Germany's anti-lockdown movement explains that the attack was:
The latest in a long list of assaults, abuse and aggressive behaviour from the anti-vaxxer scene in Germany. The conspiracy-driven, anti-Semitic and anti-democratic rhetoric of the so-called ‘Querdenken’ (lateral thinkers) movement increasingly leads to violent actions.
For too long, authorities have underestimated the threat posed by anti-vaxxers and conspiracy ideologues. These aren’t just anti-authoritarian hippies rallying against Big Pharma, these are increasingly radicalised opponents of health measures who resort to violence to achieve their political aims.
The assailant has since been apprehended but Potter explains that this is just one of many attacks being taken to an extreme by german anti-vaxxers. Over the course of the pandemic, vandalism, arson and Molotov cocktail attacks have become commonplace. Last October, a homemade explosive was detonated in front of a research institute in Berlin.