Compulsory vaccination in health care: Ministry plans decree

Erfurt (dpa/th) – Thuringia’s state government wants to do without further checks on the immunity status of some employees when enforcing the corona vaccination requirement in the healthcare sector. The ministry will instruct the municipal health authorities not to ask for booster vaccinations for people who have been vaccinated twice from October 1st, said Health Minister Heike Werner (left) on Friday in the state parliament in Erfurt. In this way, any pressure should be taken from these employees in the industry.

Background for the announced decree: According to the current Federal Infection Protection Act, from October 1st people will only be fully vaccinated against corona if they can prove three vaccinations with a vaccine approved in the EU. According to the law, exceptions apply to people who have only had two vaccinations but have contracted Covid-19.

The so-called facility-related vaccination requirement stipulates that employees in hospitals and nursing homes, for example, must be fully immunized against the corona virus in order to be able to work there. However, this compulsory vaccination expires at the end of the year. There is currently no political majority for extending it.

The fact that vaccination is still compulsory in the healthcare system was met with cross-party criticism in the plenary debate. It is pointless that this obligation still has to be enforced because it only applies for a few weeks, said Left MP Ralf Plötner.

Like other parliamentarians, Plötner pointed out that the expectation of the protective effect of the corona vaccinations had not been fully met. They offer vaccinated people a high level of protection against serious illness or death. However, they would protect others significantly less from infection with the corona virus than was initially expected. “The facility-related vaccination requirement is a flop and should have been suspended long ago,” said the CDU social politician Thadäus König.

In the past, Werner had spoken out against the extension of mandatory vaccinations in the healthcare sector and renewed her stance in the state parliament . This obligation can no longer be justified, as there will be no general obligation to vaccinate in the foreseeable future, she said. This would put a disproportionate burden on healthcare workers.

Irrespective of their personal opinion, the obligation to vaccinate must continue to be enforced. “There is a federal law that works, we cannot suspend it,” said Werner. Hearing forms would therefore still have to be sent to employees in the health care system who have not yet been able to prove any corona vaccinations in order to implement the law.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220923-99-871396/4

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