Corona vaccinations: “We need exact numbers”

Status: December 18, 2021 8:42 am

In the new year, the Bundestag wants to decide on the introduction of a general corona vaccination requirement. But how would this be implemented? Bundestag President Bas calls for a central vaccination register – but there are also reservations.

Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD) has called for a national vaccination register. In the “Welt am Sonntag” she criticized that there was still too little data available about the corona pandemic. “What worries us all is that the health authorities do not know exactly how many infections there are. Or what the exact status of the vaccinations is,” said the President of the Bundestag.

Among the nurses, it is assumed that up to 90 percent are vaccinated, but these are estimates, according to Bas. “We need exact numbers,” she said. “For example, we need a national vaccination register.”

Register as a basis for compulsory vaccination

There is no such vaccination register in Germany. For the Covid-19 vaccinations, the data is collected from the vaccination centers and vaccinating practices and processed by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) so that the vaccination rates are known nationwide and regionally. Bas said the data situation is much better today than at the beginning of the pandemic. But she is also self-critical of the work of the previous government, said the SPD politician, who was the health policy spokeswoman for her group in the last legislative period.

The establishment of a central register in which the data of people vaccinated against the coronavirus are stored could become a prerequisite for the introduction of a general compulsory vaccination. The stored data could also be used to enforce and monitor mandatory vaccination.

Boldly against vaccination data collection

SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert rejects the collection of vaccination data. “Even if it is limited to the data from the corona vaccination, I see the fundamental risk that such a step will open the door for access to further data,” said Kühnert to the editorial network in Germany. “I also don’t see how the completely overloaded health authorities are supposed to administer it.”

With regard to a general compulsory vaccination, Kühnert said: “I do not yet see it as certain that the vaccination will actually come in the end.” There are still a lot of difficult legal questions to be clarified.

Facility-related vaccination requirements from March 2022

It has been decided that employees in facilities with particularly vulnerable people such as nursing homes and clinics must prove by mid-March 2022 that they have been vaccinated against Corona or have recovered from it. The Bundestag should decide in a free vote without political party discipline about a general vaccination requirement that goes beyond this.

Bas said there were a number of issues that needed to be resolved beforehand. In particular, the goals of compulsory vaccination must be clear and they must be very well prepared. “What use is it if there isn’t enough vaccine,” said the President of the Bundestag. “Or the vaccine remains ineffective with a certain virus variant?”

Bas, who, like a majority in politics and the population, had initially rejected a general vaccination requirement, added that the decision on this was a decision of conscience: “In my opinion, it should be made regardless of parliamentary group boundaries.”

Merz against the introduction of a mandatory vaccination

From the point of view of the CDU chairman Friedrich Merz, a number of questions must be clarified before the introduction of mandatory vaccination. “Among other things, how such a compulsory vaccination is enforced in Germany,” said Merz on ZDF. “So far we don’t have a national vaccination register, we don’t know who is vaccinated and who is not. And the question of enforcing such a law is, in my opinion, at least as important as the discussion of duty as such.”

Merz had previously expressed a negative opinion about a general vaccination requirement. “We should first clarify whether there are simpler, better, more proportionate means to get a significantly higher vaccination rate,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group. With a consistent application of the 2G rule, this goal could possibly also be achieved.

Merz refused to join a cross-faction group proposal for mandatory vaccination in the Bundestag. This is a trick used by the Ampel government to conceal the fact that it does not have a majority of its own when it comes to compulsory vaccination. “The government must first say what it wants on such a central issue,” he said. “And then we give our answer.”

Merz: How can general vaccination requirements be met without a national vaccination register?

Uli Hauck, ARD Berlin, 17.12.2021 · 08:49

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *