“This situation damages the vaccination campaign”


Mr. Lilie, soon only vaccinated people will be allowed to work with patients and carers. Diakonie operates almost 400 hospitals and around 3000 nursing homes. How do you look forward to March 16?

I get scared and anxious. We have always supported facility-related compulsory vaccination because it is our top priority that the people we look after are protected from the virus as well as possible. But the politicians have prepared this law so poorly that the insecurities in the houses are massive. In many departments, the rosters for March are being written these days, and the situation is already tense due to many cases of illness and quarantine orders because of Omicron. Now there is the fact that we do not know how the houses can even implement the new rule. Rarely have I seen such an important law being approached in such an unprofessional manner.

Which questions are unanswered?

Actually everyone. In a number of cases, we do not know which facilities are subject to compulsory vaccination, the federal states make their own delimitations. For example, the Diakonie runs many daycare centers, some of which also have integrative groups where disabled children are cared for. Does only the staff for the inclusive group need to be vaccinated from March or all? There is no national answer to this. Countries also take different approaches when it comes to the extent to which facilities are liable if they then allow unvaccinated staff to see patients.

In what way?

Baden-Württemberg has asked the facilities to submit lists of all employees who have not yet proven their vaccination protection against Corona by the start of compulsory vaccination. If these employees continue to work close to patients or those cared for, the owners of the facilities face liability for the violation and all the consequences. In northern Germany, the federal states are proceeding very differently, we were made to understand that the authorities cannot control compulsory vaccination in the current form anyway. This is a situation that makes those who are really trying to deal with the Corona crisis very perplexed.

Diakonie employs 600,000 people. How many are unvaccinated?

I don’t know the exact number of unvaccinated people yet, we’re just collecting them. Our vaccination status follows regional developments, but overall we are usually a little better in terms of staff than the average for the population. I reckon that the proportion of unvaccinated people is at most 10 to 15 percent.


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