Coronavirus: These models of mandatory vaccination are being discussed


Status: 01/12/2022 1:29 p.m.

A corona vaccination obligation for all adults, an obligation only for over-50-year-olds – or is vaccination still voluntary? Several variants are emerging in the debate. What speaks for which model? An overview.

From March, a corona vaccination will apply to certain facilities in Germany, such as nursing homes and hospitals. The introduction of a general vaccination requirement is currently stalling due to procedural disputes in the Bundestag. However, different variants are emerging, but there is only a little concrete.

Variant 1: General compulsory vaccination for everyone aged 18 and over

Compulsory corona vaccination for all adults would currently be the most far-reaching model. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is working in his own words “as a member of parliament” on an application for such a law. Britta Haßelmann, leader of the Green Group, also spoke out in favor of it. In the Ethics Council, there was a majority in favor of compulsory vaccination from the age of 18. A total of 13 of the 24 members are in favor.

There are different opinions on this among virologists. The Bonn virologist Hendrik Streeck expressed skepticism about a general vaccination requirement in December. There are many viruses that should be vaccinated against, he told the German press agency. “If these other vaccinations are voluntary compared to the vaccination against the coronavirus, it sends the wrong signal from my point of view.”

Herbert Pfister, former director of the Institute for Virology at the University Clinic in Cologne, spoke out on Deutschlandfunk for compulsory vaccination. Vaccination is not just about protecting yourself, but also protecting your fellow human beings.

Variant 2: Compulsory vaccination from a certain age

This idea would correspond to the previous strategy in the Covid pandemic. Older people in particular are known to be particularly at risk in the Covid pandemic and should be given special protection. In the ethics council, seven of the 24 members had spoken out in favor of compulsory vaccination for particularly vulnerable population groups.

According to his own statements, the FDP health politician Andrew Ullmann wants to submit an application for mandatory vaccination for over-50s – apparently supplemented by a step model. Virologist Klaus Stöhr commented positively on this variant in the “Welt”. CSU health politician Stephan Pilsinger recently caused confusion by saying that the Union was also working on such an application. The Union parliamentary group denied this, however.

There are already pioneers: In Italy, compulsory vaccination for people aged 50 and over is already a law. In Greece and the Czech Republic, everyone over 60 should be vaccinated. What remains, however, is the question of feasibility and effectiveness.

In Italy, the implementation is controlled by the Italian tax authorities by comparing the registration data with the regional vaccination registers. Whether the fine of 100 euros there is enough to motivate people to be vaccinated is controversial. Virologist Roberto Burioni spoke of a farce. The sum corresponds to just two tickets for wrong parking.

Variant 3: The staggered compulsory vaccination

FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr has brought a step model into the discussion. Dürr speaks of a “mandatory vaccination on trial”. It could then only be introduced for a limited period of time, for example for a year.

According to “Welt”, the initiative by the FDP MP Ullmann wants to combine the application for age-dependent regulation with a tiered regulation. Accordingly, there could be a mandatory vaccination information for everyone at the beginning, if possible by doctors in the vaccination or test centers. If the vaccination quota still does not increase, the next step could be compulsory vaccination for people aged 50 and over, for example.

Variant 4: No general compulsory vaccination

The opponents of compulsory vaccination have already clearly positioned themselves. Members of the FDP politician Wolfgang Kubicki have already submitted a draft application in which they categorically reject the obligation for a corona vaccination. Kubicki, who is also Vice President of the Bundestag, believes that an obligation is unconstitutional. Around 30 parliamentarians have already signed up to his application. The AfD also announced its own application against a general compulsory vaccination.

The Bundestag is expected to decide on the controversial issue in March – without being forced into a parliamentary group. Until then, the applications must be specific – and also answer the many open practical questions, such as: How should compulsory vaccination be checked? Should there be fines? Is a central vaccination register necessary to get an overview of the vaccinated?

In addition, numerous other questions arise – from a legal point of view but also with a view to the effectiveness of the vaccines in the case of constantly new virus mutations. The subject of mandatory vaccination is not only controversial, but also complex – here is an overview:

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