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.
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.
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.”
However, this not only means that staff are there at all, but that residents in nursing homes, for example, where the vaccination rate is significantly higher than for staff, are also effectively protected against infections. According to Köpping, the details of the implementation of the compulsory vaccination decided by the Bundestag on December 10 are currently being worked on. “We would like to have uniform rules for the whole of Germany.” If that is not possible, she would at least advocate a joint approach by Central Germany, including Bavaria.
The state government in the south also believes that other local politicians could refuse to enforce the institution-related vaccination requirement. The Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) says that he knows from many conversations with district administrators and carriers that they are reluctant to make a “special sacrifice”. It must therefore be made very clear that the facility-related vaccination requirement can only be a “first step” towards a general one – this was the finding in the most recent decision of the Health Ministers’ Conference (GMK), among other things, he said, Holetschek told the FAZ
The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) recently asked in an interview with the FAS that a postponement of the partial vaccination obligation should be examined. “Otherwise, the healthcare system could be overburdened simply by the migration of nursing staff because of the obligation to vaccinate.”