“Dispute about testing and vaccination – again not together against Corona?”



Members of the Bundestag take part in the orientation debate on compulsory SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in the Bundestag.

On Wednesday, the Bundestag discussed the pros and cons of compulsory vaccination for the first time: in a several hours of orientation debate the proponents of such a regulation promoted their position, but there was also support for a partial vaccination requirement from the age of 50 or for the waiver of any regulation. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) campaigned for a general obligation: “The only way is an obligation to vaccinate, with which we all protect each other, and we have to start now.” He contradicted the argument that an obligation to vaccinate amounts to a restriction of personal freedoms . “We regain freedom through vaccination,” said Lauterbach. Since the implementation of a vaccination requirement takes five to six months, action must be taken now: “If we push the problem away from us, the problem will come back with full force.” Lauterbach did not speak in the plenum as a minister, but as a member of parliament. The federal government has not submitted its own draft law on compulsory vaccination.

The deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary group, Dagmar Schmidt, explained that compulsory vaccination was “not an easy step” for her, but the alternatives were more “many dead, sick and long-Covid patients” or more and more contact and access restrictions. “Now we are responsible for closing the existing vaccination gaps,” said Green health expert Kirsten Kappert-Gonther. She also advocated compulsory vaccination. An obligation for everyone over 50 carries the risk that the willingness to vaccinate will decrease among younger people, she warned. In contrast, Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) expressed sympathy for compulsory vaccination from the age of 50. It must be clarified whether there are not milder means than a general compulsory vaccination from the age of 18. He expressly appreciated the Bundestag debate, in which the faction obligation had been lifted. The Union health expert Tino Sorge (CDU) again criticized on behalf of the CDU/CSU that the federal government had not submitted its own draft law for compulsory vaccination. He also emphasized “that vaccination is the way out of the pandemic” and that compulsory vaccination therefore makes sense. However, he campaigned for a “differentiated” solution and a compromise within the framework of parliamentary deliberations.

The opponents of compulsory vaccination also spoke up in the debate. FDP Vice Wolfgang Kubicki said there are many reasons why people decide against vaccination. “We would do well not to make vaccination a duty of solidarity through a moral charge,” said the Vice President of the Bundestag. As a liberal, however, he warns against the state or a majority wanting to determine what is reasonable for a minority. Left-wing MP Gregor Gysi also spoke out against compulsory vaccination. This would deepen the divisions in society, he warned. The AfD reiterated its no to compulsory vaccination. This is “unconstitutional and disproportionate,” said parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel in the debate.

Various groups of MPs want to work out cross-party motions. The Union faction announced its own application. So far, three models have emerged: compulsory vaccination for all adults, compulsory vaccination from the age of 50 and no compulsory vaccination. The next opportunity for a first reading in the Bundestag would be in mid-February. It is the only week of meetings so far scheduled for February.

The question of whether for the implementation of a general obligation to vaccinate is controversial a vaccination register must first be set up. In the orientation debate, the Union had called for its introduction. This could also be used to expand low-threshold vaccination offers, said parliamentary group leader Sepp Müller (CDU), for example through direct letters or mandatory consultations for people from risk groups. Group Vice President Andrea Lindholz (CSU) explained that a register would also be important for the controllability of a possible vaccination requirement. Minister of Health Lauterbach does not consider a vaccination register to be necessary and also a hindrance, since it would take far too long to introduce it. Instead, one possibility would be that “proof of vaccination must be provided at the workplace or when using certain means of transport. It would be possible that proof of vaccination would have to be provided when visiting a doctor, in clinics and so on. It could also simply be checked sporadically, like in Austria,” explained Lauterbach on ZDF “heute journal”.

(Sources: Ed. / Dpa / reuters / afp / ap / epd / kna / RKI)

Image source: epa


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