How the partial obligation to vaccinate stresses hospitals and authorities


Dhe question as to whether everyone can now actually do what they want was obvious when Bautzen’s deputy district administrator Udo Witschas declared in front of demonstrators this week that the decided vaccination requirement for health professions would not be enforced. “If you ask me what the health department of the district of Bautzen will do from March 16th, then we, our health department, will not ban our employees in the nursing and medical fields from their profession or ban on entry,” the CDU politician shouted around 2000 people, most of whom had moved in front of the district office without masks and distance.

Stefan Locke

Correspondent for Saxony and Thuringia based in Dresden.

Cheers erupted, and the video with the statement spread like wildfire on the Messenger service Telegram, through which opponents of vaccination and critics of corona measures have been meeting to protest for months. The tenor there was: Victory across the board against the supposed Corona dictatorship.

By the next morning, however, the revolution had collapsed. The state directorate responsible for municipal legal supervision demanded a statement from Witschas, which he immediately delivered. Of course, the district of Bautzen is also bound by law and order and has not questioned the legal situation, he replied. “In view of the overall context, I ask for your understanding that my statements may be misinterpreted in the emotional atmosphere.”

Witschas then listed the “overall connections”: In crisis talks, representatives of clinics, welfare associations, rescue services and the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians made it clear “in drastic terms” that “even minor staff shortages could not be compensated for and would endanger the security of supply”. There is a risk of a “supply emergency”. He is therefore calling for the obligation to vaccinate to be suspended or lifted.

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Saxony’s Health Minister Petra Köpping cannot rule out a future emergency. Because the proportion of fully vaccinated employees in Saxon care facilities has so far been between 58 and 69 percent and is therefore lower than anywhere else in Germany. “We are currently clarifying the scope for action,” says the SPD politician. “Security of supply will also have top priority for us.”


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