Ministry does not want an extension: partial vaccination is to be phased out


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Status: 11/21/2022 5:53 p.m

If nothing happens, the controversial vaccination requirement for people in medical professions will expire at the end of the year. According to information from ARD Capital Studios it is now clear: it should not be extended.

By Nadine Bader and Vera Wolfskkampf, ARD Capital Studio

It was a controversial project that caused a stir from the start: the so-called institution-related compulsory vaccination. Since March of this year, everyone who works for nursing services, in clinics or practices has had to provide proof of a full corona vaccination. Otherwise there is a risk of activity bans or fines. The partial vaccination requirement was decided by the Bundestag at the end of 2021. It is regulated in paragraph 20a of the Infection Protection Act and expires at the end of the year unless the legislator decides to extend it.

So far, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has been an advocate of compulsory vaccination for nursing staff and other employees in medical facilities. He justified the obligation with the necessary protection for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and people with previous illnesses.

Lauterbach had kept open for a long time whether the partial vaccination requirement should be extended in the coming year. He had always pointed out that the development of the corona pandemic in winter was not yet foreseeable. Now there seems to be movement on the subject.

New situation due to propagation of BQ.1.1

As the ARD Capital Studio learned from circles of the Federal Ministry of Health, the institution-related vaccination obligation should expire at the end of the year. The aim was for employees in certain facilities to be vaccinated in order to reduce the risk to vulnerable groups. However, this effect can no longer be assumed with the increase in the corona variant BQ.1.1.

The basis for the partial vaccination obligation is no longer given with a “more or less completely immune variant”. The phasing out is therefore medically justified because, according to initial findings, the new variant escapes the immune system to a greater extent. This means that more people who have been vaccinated or have recovered will fall ill with Corona. The vaccination then protects even less against transmission of the virus.

Liberal calls for phasing out

In addition to medical reasons, political reasons could also play a role. The FDP has been calling for the regulation to be phased out for a long time. The health policy spokesman for the Liberals, Andrew Ullmann, was critical. When the partial vaccination requirement was passed, there were completely different requirements. According to the current state of knowledge, he sees no reason for an extension. It is therefore questionable whether the traffic light coalition could have agreed on an extension of the facility-related compulsory vaccination at all.

The facility-related compulsory vaccination had also caused a lot of criticism in the federal states and in nursing facilities. In a recent letter to Lauterbach, Saxony, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia called for an end to mandatory vaccinations for health and care workers. There was always a misunderstanding among nursing staff that the partial vaccination requirement was never followed by a general vaccination requirement because the traffic light coalition could not agree on it.

The German Nursing Council spoke of a “two-class society” when dealing with the corona pandemic. “If vaccination is compulsory, then for society as a whole,” says Nursing Council President Christine Vogler.

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