Corona vaccination is slowly taking shape

Status: 01/23/2022 10:01 a.m

Designed for a maximum of three vaccinations, limited in time and enforced with fines: A few days before the first compulsory vaccination debate in the Bundestag, some of the initiators presented the first concrete proposals.

A few days before the first consultations on compulsory corona vaccination in the Bundestag, the plans of the supporters are taking shape. The deputy SPD parliamentary group leader Dirk Wiese, who, together with other members of the traffic light coalition, is preparing the key points for compulsory vaccination from the age of 18, now gave details of the plans: The obligation should be limited to one to two years, apply to no more than three vaccinations and be enforced through fines, says the domestic politician from the dpa news agency.

“On the basis of the current studies, one can say that with three vaccinations one has achieved a good basic immunization against a severe course,” said Wiese. “It may later be that it makes sense for one or the other to carry out another booster vaccination, for example for those who have previously been ill or the elderly. But that should then be voluntary.” The obligation to vaccinate should not apply forever. “It may be that at some point we will have such a high basic immunity that we no longer need vaccination.” When it comes to the length of the period, the deputies want to rely on the advice of experts. “But it will certainly not be just a few months, but rather one to two years.”

“Vaccination register takes too long”

The implementation of the vaccination requirement could be done by recording vaccinations in a central register. However, its structure is complex and there are concerns from data protection officers. “For the current debate, that doesn’t make sense for reasons of time,” said Wiese. The obligation to vaccinate is intended to last for the next autumn and winter. Setting up a vaccination register would take too long for that. “There are a few ideas on how to write to the citizens anyway: via the health insurance companies or via the municipalities that have the registration data,” says Wiese.

On Friday, Wiese, together with six politicians from the Greens and FDP, announced a group application for mandatory vaccinations from the age of 18 in a letter to all members of the Bundestag – except for those from the AfD. It is about “finding a sustainable, proportionate and at the same time targeted solution,” says the letter. These are the first details of the proposals that will be debated in the Bundestag on Wednesday.

Dahmen for a fine in the three-digit range

The health policy spokesman for the Greens, Janosch Dahmen, co-initiator of the application, spoke out in the “Bild am Sonntag” for compulsory vaccination for everyone over the age of 18. Also because of the risk of long-term damage from Covid-19, it is important that all age groups are vaccinated, Dahmen warned. In his opinion, three vaccine doses should be enough for compulsory vaccination. “The current scientific status is that you are very, very well protected against a serious illness with three vaccinations,” said Dahmen. He would medically recommend all further booster vaccinations, “but not prescribe them”.

From Dahmen’s point of view, the vaccination requirement should apply from the summer. The law could be passed by the end of March, said Dahmen. “Then we need the second quarter to vaccinate very intensively. Then the vaccination requirement can be in force in July or August,” explained the Green politician.

Dahmen advocated a fine in the mid three-digit range for everyone who did not get vaccinated despite being obligated to do so. “Before this is due, the unvaccinated people should be given a period of about six weeks to catch up on the vaccination,” he recommended. Fines should always be imposed on “particularly unreasonable people”. It must be prevented “that people simply buy their freedom”. However, he rejects imprisonment. Other sanctions would suffice.

Virologist Brinkmann for compulsory vaccination from the age of 50

The virologist Melanie Brinkmann, a member of the expert committee of the federal government, expressed something different about the vaccination requirement. In Brinkmann’s view, this should apply to people aged 50 and over. “I’m not a fan of compulsory vaccination, but I’m skeptical whether we can close the vaccination gap with other measures such as vaccination campaigns and education alone so that we can get into calm waters,” said the professor at the TU Braunschweig of the “Rheinische Post”. “If everyone over 50 was vaccinated by autumn, we could go into the next winter with more peace of mind.” A vaccination requirement for people over 50 would make sense, said Brinkmann, with a view to a corresponding requirement in Italy. So far, it is predominantly this age group that makes most corona hospital treatments necessary. However, she pointed out that younger people could also become seriously ill and their risk could be greatly reduced with a vaccination.

In the Bundestag, the obligation to vaccinate should be voted on without party pressure, the members of parliament are only obliged to their conscience. The applications should be drawn up across factions. According to the current status, the CDU and CSU in the Bundestag do not want to submit their own application for the introduction of compulsory vaccination.

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