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© Matthias Rietschel/Reuters
FILE PHOTO: People outside a vaccination center in Dresden, Germany, July 29, 2021.
A senior German official in Bavaria has shrugged off criticism from fellow politicians who are accusing him of supporting the country's anti-vaccination movement.

Hubert Aiwanger, Bavaria's economy minister and deputy minister-president, pushed back against criticism of his stance on immunization.

"I believe that vaccination is an important component of the fight against the coronavirus, but it still has to remain a personal decision."

"This has nothing to do with shamanism or the Querdenkers. It's a personal right to freedom," the senior official told Bild newspaper, dismissing the attacks against him as part of a campaign strategy by his opponents.

The Querdenker ('lateral thinking') movement consists of activists who have been staging protests against lockdowns and vaccination across Germany.

Bavaria's minister-president, Markus Soeder of the Christian Social Union, a sister party to Chancellor Angela Markel's Christian Democratic Union, said that he was "worried" about Aiwanger trafficking in Querdenker ideology.

"Anyone who thinks he can appeal to right-wing groups and the Querdenker... ends up hurting himself. Those who think they can catch fish from such a pool, risk drowning in it," Soeder said.

Comment: If it was solely right-wing and minority groups rejecting the experimental injections governments would not need to resort to threats to coerce people into suffering them; and the situation is the same across much of the planet.

A strong proponent of vaccination, Soeder previously called skepticism towards the vaccines "arguments from the Middle Ages."

Comment: Clearly Soeder is the one lagging behind with the science and the most up to date data, because that shows, for the vast majority, the vaccines are worse than useless; and for some, they're deadly: The Inanity of RNA Vaccines For COVID-19

Aiwanger has been described by local media as the only person in Soeder's cabinet who is hesitant about getting vaccinated. The politician explained that he is not against vaccination in principle, but prefers to wait some time before getting the shot. "I'm not an opponent of vaccination, but not euphoric towards vaccination either," Aiwanger said in May.

Comment: A reasonable position; and it's likely that a significant number politicians and high profile people are also not getting the injection, they're just to cowardly or self-interested to admit it. In the same way that many politicians were caught routinely flouting the lockdown restrictions. In the UK, MPs are so brazen in their hypocrisy that they're mandating vaccine passports for citizens but have rejected the same mandate for politicians.

Merkel said this month that she opposes mandatory vaccination and officials should instead rely on advertising vaccines to the public.

Over 61% of the German population have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 52% have been fully vaccinated, according to the government.