Ethics Council recommends compulsory corona vaccination for certain professional groups

AIn view of the rapidly increasing number of corona infections, the German Ethics Council recommends that the federal government review compulsory vaccination for certain professional groups. The independent panel of experts announced on Thursday that it advised a “serious and rapid review” of compulsory vaccination in areas where “particularly vulnerable people” would be cared for – i.e. the seriously or chronically ill and people of old age. The obligation to vaccinate could then apply to doctors and nurses, but also to employees of social welfare services. According to the statement by the committee, these bear “a special responsibility not to damage those entrusted to them”.

However, the only executive federal government of the Union and SPD rejects compulsory vaccination. The traffic light parties, which are currently negotiating the formation of a new government, are also against such a move. But the pressure is growing now. Diakonie President Ulrich Lilie recently spoke out in favor of a temporary obligation to vaccinate in care facilities and in the healthcare sector. The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina also considers compulsory vaccination for certain groups to be sensible.

On Thursday, the German Hospital Society followed the recommendation of the Ethics Council. “Politicians are now asked to thoroughly examine the vaccination requirement for certain professional groups, but not to put off the topic for too long,” said CEO Gerald Gass. “The pandemic situation no longer allows for unnecessary delays.”

The Ethics Council specifically recommends examining a legal regulation for an occupational vaccination requirement. Possible negative consequences, such as dismissals in the affected professional groups, would have to be taken into account. However, these must be weighed against the protection obligations towards people from high-risk groups.

The 24 experts from science and society made the recommendation unanimously with three abstentions. The Ethics Council is regarded as the authoritative body of experts for ethical, social, scientific, medical and legal issues. Great weight is attached to his recommendations in the political debate. The members are appointed by the President of the Bundestag.

235 deaths within 24 hours

The number of new corona infections has meanwhile risen sharply again and exceeded 50,000 for the first time in the corona pandemic. The health authorities in Germany reported the maximum number of 50,196 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. This emerges from figures that reflect the status of the RKI dashboard on Thursday morning, 3:40 a.m. The day before there were 39,676 infections and exactly one week ago the value was 33,949 infections. Wednesday’s value had already been a high.

The nationwide seven-day incidence also reached a new high. The RKI gave the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week on Thursday morning as 249.1. It has thus risen to a high for the fourth day in a row. On Wednesday the value was 232.1. For comparison: a week ago the incidence was 154.5, in the previous month it was 66.5.

According to the new information, 235 deaths were recorded across Germany within 24 hours. A week ago there were 165 deaths. The RKI has counted 4,894,250 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections go undetected.

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