Vaccination of a teacher in Lower Saxony (March 2021)
Photo: Hauke-Christian Dittrich / dpa
Should teachers and daycare workers be obliged to vaccinate against Covid-19?
The proposal by Wolfram Henn, human geneticist and member of the German Ethics Council, caused heated discussions.
The debate really took off again on Tuesday.
On Monday, Henn called for a corona vaccination for employees in schools and daycare centers: "Anyone who joins a group of vulnerable people from a free choice of profession bears special job-related responsibility," he told the "Rheinische Post".
"We need a compulsory vaccination for the staff in daycare centers and schools." In this way, teachers should protect children under the age of twelve who could not get a vaccination.
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Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the idea on Tuesday. "We have no intention of going this way," she said in Berlin after a visit to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI): "There will be no compulsory vaccination." This also delimited her from EU countries such as France and Greece who had previously announced compulsory vaccination for certain occupational groups.
Almost every minute, other state and federal politicians also spoke up - and the majority were skeptical.
For example, SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach said in the “Rheinische Post”: “A vaccination against Covid-19 must be the voluntary decision of each individual.
Politicians must and will keep their word here.
That also applies to teachers and educators. "Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) also emphasized on Deutschlandfunk:" I am against compulsory vaccinations. "
"Compulsory vaccination can be discussed"
Söder justified his rejection by stating that compulsory vaccination was a »strong encroachment on fundamental rights«.
NRW Family Minister Joachim Stamp (FDP) argued similarly in the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.
His party colleague Yvonne Gebauer, school minister in North Rhine-Westphalia, pointed out that most teachers and day-care center employees have now been vaccinated.
Baden-Württemberg's Minister of Health, Manne Lucha, on the other hand, does not rule out compulsory vaccination for certain professional groups if the vaccination rate does not accelerate.
"A job-specific compulsory vaccination can be discussed," said the Green politician in Stuttgart.
The vaccination rate of assistants and semi-skilled workers in inpatient care facilities is currently relatively low.
One is currently trying to increase the vaccination rate with the carriers.
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Previously, teachers' representatives had also rejected the move.
"What we don't need now is a discussion about compulsory vaccination for a professional group that has been vaccinated by an overwhelming majority," said the chairman of the Education and Training Association, Udo Beckmann.
Teachers and educators were excited about the vaccination.
Most of them would have accepted their vaccination offer, the vaccination quota is in some cases 90 percent.
Beckmann warned: "If a vaccination is not possible for health reasons, this must not end in a professional ban." And Heinz-Peter Meidinger, President of the German Teachers' Association, rejected mandatory vaccinations for educators.
"We have great vaccination rates"
For Dario Schramm, General Secretary of the Federal Schoolchildren Conference, the whole debate is only a "phantom" anyway.
Schramm also referred to the high vaccination values among teachers compared to the general population.
Mandatory vaccination for individual professional groups is unnecessary, says the chairwoman of the German Ethics Council, Alena Buyx.
In the ZDF “Morgenmagazin” on Tuesday she pointed out that the Ethics Council had stated very carefully that under certain circumstances one could think about such job-related, very narrowly limited vaccination obligations.
"However, I would say that these circumstances do not apply," she said.
First, there are other ways of protecting most vulnerable - i.e. particularly at risk - groups.
»And: We have much better vaccination rates for the various occupational groups than, for example, in France.
We have really great vaccination rates for health workers and teachers.
That's why I think we don't need that at all. "
him / dpa / AFP