Health Minister: Vaccination centers will remain open until the end of the year

Status: 10.01.2022 9:37 p.m.

The mistake from autumn should not be repeated. Therefore, this time the vaccination centers will remain open until the end of the year. The health ministers decided that. Proof of Covid-19 recovery should only be provided digitally in the future.

The duration of the vaccination centers in Germany is to be extended until the end of 2022. This is what Saxony-Anhalt’s Minister of Health Petra Grimm-Benne and Saarland’s Minister of Health Monika Bachmann announced. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach has promised that the funding will be secured by the end of the year, said Grimm-Benne after a video conference between the heads of the federal and state departments. She is currently the Chair of the Conference of Health Ministers.

Bachmann, who brought in the application from Saarland, praised the understanding. “With this decision, the state, the districts and municipalities, but especially the employees who are doing great things in the vaccination centers, can reliably plan for the year 2022,” she said. “It would have been fatal to repeat the measures from the past and to suspend the funding prematurely.”

Recovered status as a QR code

In addition, the state ministers have decided that people who have recovered from the coronavirus should in future only digitally prove their status with a QR code. Health Minister Lauterbach wants to implement this promptly.

The Federal Ministry is to create a corresponding legal basis “with which the obligation to exclusively present a digitally readable health record” becomes possible for access controls, for example for events or in restaurants.

The proof can be displayed, for example, via the Corona warning app. A positive PCR test result from at least 28 days and no more than six months in the past is the basis for a convalescent status.

Speed ​​required if vaccination is compulsory

The heads of department plead for a quick solution to the general compulsory vaccination being discussed. “At the health ministers’ conference we were of the opinion that the general compulsory vaccination should come,” said Grimm-Benne.

Lauterbach does not want to submit his own proposal, but instead relies on an application from the middle of the Bundestag. Parliament is expected to hold an orientation debate on the issue at the end of January. “We ask that it go as quickly as possible, we are losing the necessary time here.” There are still different positions on the question of whether a vaccination register should be introduced or not, according to the SPD politician.

No recommendation for fourth vaccination

At their first regular conference this year, the health ministers also discussed a possible fourth corona vaccination for particularly vulnerable groups. So far, the booster vaccination campaign with booster vaccinations has been running in Germany. Israel, on the other hand, is vaccinating for the fourth time. Grimm-Benne left it open to what extent one would like to follow this example.

More scientific research is needed first, she said. The minister emphasized that studies from Israel suggested that vaccinated people do not necessarily have more antibodies against the omicron variant after a fourth immunization.

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