Survey in federal states: Thousands of nurses still unvaccinated


Status: 04.02.2022 4:24 p.m

An SWR survey shows that thousands of nurses in Germany are still unvaccinated. The lowest vaccination rate is in Saxony. In Rhineland-Palatinate and Hamburg, on the other hand, the rate is around 90 percent.

By Judith Brosel and Nick Schader, SWR

In Germany there are currently tens of thousands of employees in care facilities without vaccination protection. This is the result of a survey by SWR among the responsible ministries of the federal states, to which all federal states, apart from North Rhine-Westphalia, responded in a timely manner. Accordingly, there are very large regional differences.

Several federal states have a vaccination rate among nursing staff that is between 84 and 92 percent. After evaluating the SWR the vaccination rate is highest in Rhineland-Palatinate (92 percent) – followed by Hamburg (90 percent), Hesse (88 percent), Bremen (88 percent) and Bavaria (86 percent). In Baden-Württemberg, the vaccination rate among the almost 100,000 employees in care is 85.4 percent.

Low rates in Saxony and Thuringia

The situation in Saxony and Thuringia is completely different. According to the ministries there, the vaccination rate in Saxony is 65.7 percent nationwide – in Thuringia “between 60 and 70 percent”. In some districts in Saxony, such as Saxon Switzerland, the vaccination rate for employees in nursing homes is just over 50 percent. The same applies to individual facilities in Thuringia. There, too, only “just over 50 percent” had full vaccination protection, as the Thuringian Ministry of Health at the request of the SWR communicated.

In some federal states there is currently no precise recording of the vaccination rates, for example in Schleswig-Holstein and Berlin. There is “no systematic monitoring” of vaccination rates, said the Berlin Senate Department for Health. Schleswig-Holstein also announced that concrete figures were not yet available.

The Federal Ministry of Health emphasizes SWR-Demand, the start of facility-related compulsory vaccination should not be delayed. “In the omicron wave, every day counts to protect vulnerable groups.” The obligation to vaccinate is implemented by the federal states.

Vaccination versus security of supply?

There are also differences between the federal states in the planned implementation of compulsory vaccination from mid-March. While some states emphasize that they want to “implement facility-related vaccination requirements”, namely Hamburg, Bremen and Baden-Württemberg, other states are much more reluctant.

So Saxony and Brandenburg shared that SWR that security of supply is their top priority. If this is endangered, “the pronouncement of activity and entry bans” for unvaccinated employees “can be refrained from,” says Saxony, for example. Several federal states, including Bremen, Berlin, Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate, still see a need for clarification with the Federal Ministry of Health when it comes to implementation, for example with regard to controls and possible sanctions.

The Federal Ministry of Health informs the SWR when asked: “The federal states supported the introduction of facility-related vaccination requirements at the conference of health ministers (GMK decision of January 22nd, 2022). We therefore assume that the practical implementation of the legal requirements at state level is secured.”

Situation in hospitals better

After evaluating the SWR the vaccination rate among employees in hospitals is slightly higher than in old people’s and nursing homes. Some federal states speak of a vaccination rate “of up to 100 percent” (Berlin) or emphasize that “there are no significant vaccination gaps” among clinic staff (Bavaria).

Bremen (95 percent), Rhineland-Palatinate (95 percent), Hamburg (more than 90 percent) and Hesse (90 percent) also confirm very high vaccination rates here. Saxony and Thuringia did not provide any information on this because there was “no central reporting system”, according to the Thuringian Ministry of Health.

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