At the meeting of the health ministers of the federal states, Baden-Württemberg’s representative rushes out with a demand. Bavaria’s state government is slowing down – but for how much longer?
Lindau / Munich – Ladies and gentlemen with deeply furrowed faces get out of the limousines in Lindau. The worried health ministers of the whole republic have been meeting in Lindau since Thursday. Ironically on the day on which a sad high of 34,000 infections (overview of topics) is counted in Germany. And of all places in the south of the republic, which is currently being hit hardest by the virus. “We have to pick up speed to get ahead of the situation,” warns the Bavarian head of department Klaus Holetschek (CSU).
He coordinates the round as scheduled and has brought it to his home town of Swabia. The aim is to swear ministers on a common path through the pandemic winter. The meeting of state ministers, at other times only moderately stirring, is now making headlines nationwide – the greater the power vacuum in Berlin, the more important the messages from the states are.
Corona vaccination obligation for carers and educators: “The time has come”
There are many demands, but there is still little consensus. From Baden-Württemberg there is a call for mandatory vaccination for employees, for example in old people’s and nursing homes. “After we have long been relying on appeals and people’s understanding, now the time has come to demand compulsory vaccination for employees in sensitive areas such as health or education,” says Health Minister Manne Lucha (Greens). In 2020, many old people died of Corona because the virus was carried outside into facilities. “Testing doesn’t solve our problem. We have to go a step further now. “
For the time being, there is a contradiction from Lucha’s former home in Bavaria. Holetschek says that in Bavaria “at the moment they have agreed that there is no compulsory vaccination”. Vaccination remains voluntary. Instead, the obligation to test in the facilities for visitors and employees should be expanded.
Corona: Health ministers discuss booster vaccinations and 2G for everyone
On Lake Constance, Holetschek demonstratively pulls up a vaccination bus, a mobile vaccination center operated by the Maltese, right in front of the conference hotel. This should also illustrate the aim of the round to advertise refreshments. But there is still trouble: The Stiko Standing Vaccination Commission recommends the third prick six months after the second dose, so far only from the age of 70. The health ministers want it for anyone who has done an antibody test and needs a supplement. Ten million people could quickly come together. There is agreement in the group, says Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) in Lindau. It makes a lot of sense that there should be a booster six months after the second vaccination; first, but not only for the elderly, pre-ill and medical staff.
It is also still unclear where the “boosters” should be distributed. Some countries want to reactivate vaccination centers, others don’t. For Bavaria, says Holetschek on ZDF, the 81 vaccination centers “in stand-by mode” can be restarted, and there are 240 mobile teams to support the general practitioners with pricks.
There is still no uniform line when it comes to dealing with 2G and 3G. Holetschek says he does not rule out nationwide 2G rules (i.e. access only for vaccinated and convalescent people). In a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” it is justified to prevent the collapse of the health system. “When I hear that a tumor patient who is about to be operated on has to go home because the bed is needed for a Covid patient, then that is a difficult situation.”