Ethics Council recommends compulsory corona vaccination for certain professional groups

AIn view of the rapidly increasing number of corona infections, the German Ethics Council recommends that the federal government review compulsory vaccination for certain professional groups. The independent panel of experts announced on Thursday that it advised a “serious and rapid review” of compulsory vaccination in areas where “particularly vulnerable people” would be cared for – i.e. the seriously or chronically ill and people of old age. The obligation to vaccinate could then apply to doctors and nurses, but also to employees of social welfare services. According to the statement by the committee, these bear “a special responsibility not to damage those entrusted to them”.

However, the only executive federal government of the Union and SPD rejects compulsory vaccination. The traffic light parties, which are currently negotiating the formation of a new government, are also against such a step. But the pressure is growing now. Diakonie President Ulrich Lilie recently spoke out in favor of a temporary obligation to vaccinate in care facilities and in the healthcare sector. The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina also considers compulsory vaccination for certain groups to be sensible.

On Thursday, the German Hospital Society followed the recommendation of the Ethics Council. “Politicians are now asked to thoroughly examine the vaccination requirement for certain professional groups, but not to put off the topic for too long,” said CEO Gerald Gass. “The pandemic situation no longer allows for unnecessary delays.”

The Ethics Council specifically recommends examining a legal regulation for an occupational vaccination requirement. Possible negative consequences, such as dismissals in the affected professional groups, would have to be taken into account. However, these must be weighed against the protection obligations towards people from high-risk groups.

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