Pandemic – Compulsory vaccination for health workers planned for the end of December

There are areas of pandemic control where the ÖVP and the Greens are in agreement – namely on mandatory vaccination for health professions. “What one can meaningfully discuss are vaccination obligations for occupational areas where there are particular vulnerabilities, for example in the health sector, where one works with sick people or in intensive care units,” said Federal Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) in the “ZiB Interview”.

Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens) had already emphasized on Friday that vaccination is mandatory in areas “where seriously ill people have to be cared for”: “It is imperative of the hour that staff in care facilities and in hospitals must be vaccinated in any case. ” Mückstein himself first spoke of “prescribing”. This is possible according to Section 17 (3) of the Epidemic Act. Because it says that for “People who are professionally involved in the treatment of sick people, nurses the sick or caring for corpses, and protective measures, in particular vaccinations, are ordered for midwives (…)” can.

Law on the compulsory vaccination of health workers

But because this does not necessarily include all health professions, including geriatric care or doctors and practice staff in private practice, the Ministry of Health now says: “A separate law will be created. This is planned to come into force at the end of December and a Transitional period included “. This is also the cleaner solution in terms of data protection law.

How many people are involved has not yet been determined, because the list is “still being fixed”. What is certain is that compulsory vaccination should not only include newly hired people, but also those who are already working in the field. It is also certain that medical and nursing staff in the care of the elderly will also be involved and that the compulsory vaccination will affect both homes and mobile services. Because these people “also work with particularly vulnerable groups of people who are particularly at risk from Covid”.

Elisabeth Anselm, managing director of the Austrian Aid Organization, assures that she can already “guarantee” the protection of those in need of care through PCR tests every two days, FFP2 masks and particularly high levels of hygiene. But she also understands the Minister of Health’s request: “Epidemiologically, medically and factually, vaccination is an important element in the pandemic.”

Higher vaccination rates in the
Health sector

According to Anselm, there is a higher rate of vaccination among aid workers than among the general population, emphasizes Anselm: But there is also “a core of ten to 15 percent who find it difficult to vaccinate in one way or another because they are still Have concerns “.

The envisaged transition period is to be welcomed, since the care service providers “have to maintain security of supply if some of the care staff should decide to quit for this reason”.

An Apa broadcast shows that the health staff in the hospitals are vaccinated more than average: According to the institutions themselves, the vaccination rate ranges from 75 percent of those who are fully immunized in care hospitals in Lower Austria and Upper Austria to a 92 percent vaccination rate for doctors in the Salzburg State Clinics. On Monday, 12,807 people again opted for the first dose of vaccination; 65.37 percent of the total population are currently fully immunized.

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