Ethics Council: Check vaccination requirements for certain groups

Status: 11.11.2021 8:08 a.m.

In view of the pandemic situation, the Ethics Council has asked the federal government to check whether certain professional groups are required to be vaccinated. The committee names doctors and nursing staff.

The German Ethics Council got involved in the debate about compulsory vaccination for certain professional groups – and spoke out in favor of examining it.

“In view of the current pandemic situation, the council now recommends, without a dissenting vote, with three abstentions, a serious and rapid examination of a job-related compulsory vaccination in areas in which particularly vulnerable people are cared for,” writes the panel in a press release.

Employees “who professionally care for seriously or chronically ill and very old people, such as medical and nursing staff” are named. Employees in social services, everyday support or housekeeping also have “a special responsibility not to harm those entrusted to them”.

The same applies to institutions and facilities “that are responsible for not exposing the people cared for there to any avoidable health risks,” according to the Ethics Council.

Federal government should examine legal regulation

The German Ethics Council therefore recommends that the Federal Government immediately examine a “differentiated legal regulation for a job-related vaccination obligation” and implement it if necessary. Frequently discussed concerns about the negative consequences of such a measure, such as career exits in the occupational groups concerned, should be taken into account, but should be assessed in the context of the protection obligations towards people from high-risk groups.

“It is to be hoped that the discussion about the introduction of a statutory vaccination requirement will be perceived as a signal in the institutions to organize effective, outreach vaccination campaigns with target group-specific information and education for the various professional groups,” said the Ethics Council.

He further emphasizes that the vaccination strategy based on voluntary, information and persuasion remains important. Efforts to convince as many people as possible of the need for vaccination should be stepped up. In addition, a further developed test strategy must complement the vaccination strategy.

Leopoldina wants certain groups to be vaccinated

On Wednesday, the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina called for vaccinations for certain professional groups. In view of the increasing number of infections, “vaccination obligations for multipliers” are now necessary, said Leopoldina President Gerald Haug to “Spiegel”. This not only included nurses, but also teaching staff and other professional groups with a lot of contact with other people.

The academy justified its claim that the corona pandemic “gained strong momentum again with the fourth wave.” The 2G rule, according to which only vaccinated or convalescent people are allowed access to events, should therefore be given “a greater scope of validity”, Haug and the Leopoldina researchers demanded.

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