Corona virus in Germany: STIKO chairman against compulsory vaccination

Status: 01/13/2022 6:48 p.m.

A general obligation to vaccinate builds up too much pressure, says the chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission. The Ethics Council also emphasizes that its position can change – it depends on the infection process.

The chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO), Thomas Mertens, relies on further persuasion and education on vaccination. He rejects a general obligation to vaccinate, Mertens told the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” and the “Stuttgarter Zeitung”: “It divides society, there is too much pressure.”

According to Mertens, people who refuse would not be convinced of the vaccination even by a fine. It is therefore not to be expected that the “targeted goal can really be achieved”. In addition, a quick vaccination requirement cannot break the current corona wave.

Ethics Council: “Many conditions not met”

The German Ethics Council could also change its position on general vaccination. In December, the majority of the council recommended extending compulsory vaccination to “essential parts of the population”. The recommendation is also based on which corona variant is currently dominating the infection process, said Council Chairwoman Alena Buyx to the “Spiegel”.

The statement in December was written “essentially under the conditions of the Delta variant”. If there are new facts like the more contagious omicron variant, you have to take a closer look, says Buyx.

From the point of view of the Ethics Council, many of the conditions for mandatory vaccination have not yet been met: “For example, you should have many more low-threshold, nationwide vaccination options,” says Buyx.

Lauterbach: “Limit the height of the wall”

Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach again urged vaccinations in view of the sharp increase in the number of corona cases. Anyone who wants to get a booster vaccination can get one, said the SPD politician in the Bundestag. With the booster campaign it was possible to “make a steep hill out of the wall of the Omikron wave or at least to limit the height of the wall”.

Lauterbach warned against underestimating the danger of the virus and recalled the 115,000 people who have already died. Now it’s about protecting yourself and others, relieving the burden on the clinics and thus ensuring treatment for cancer and heart patients, according to Lauterbach.

Wüst calls for law in March

The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst, is calling for the law to make vaccination compulsory in March. The goal must be to be better prepared for possible new corona waves in the fall, said the CDU politician: “I want us to get out of this spiral of lockdown and easing permanently.”

When it comes to the question of how exactly the compulsory vaccination should be structured, he is open, so Wüst. He supports the planned orientation debate in the Bundestag. A draft must finally be presented.

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