The compulsory vaccination in health and care facilities, initiated by the future federal government, has met with approval in the industry.

In individual cases, however, it is assessed as impractical or insufficient.

Some care representatives, such as the Diakonieverband, are therefore campaigning for a general vaccination requirement.

The Bundestag debated the amendment to the law in the first reading on Tuesday.

The amendment by the SPD, Greens and FDP to the Infection Protection Act stipulates that employees of clinics, homes, practices, emergency services or birth centers must present proof of corona vaccination or convalescence by March 15, 2022.

It is also possible to obtain a certificate stating that you cannot be vaccinated.

The Robert Koch Institute had reported almost 3000 infections in the facilities in the past reporting week.

Corinna Budras

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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Christian Geinitz

Business correspondent in Berlin

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The German Nursing Council wants to expand the obligation.

“If we want the highest possible protection, and we want that, then everyone who walks through the door has to be vaccinated.

Both in the nursing homes and in the hospitals, ”said Nursing Council President Christine Vogler of the FAZ Nobody talks about those in need of care, about the patients, about the visitors or suppliers.

“But of course there is also a potential danger from them, so they must also have proof of immunity,” says Vogler.

When asked whether she would like a general vaccination requirement, she said: "As a private person, I am in favor of it, as the President of the Nursing Council, I said that there is a general social responsibility to protect one's fellow human beings through vaccination."

Vaccination quota in nursing must be higher

The Diakonie, one of the largest providers of nursing homes, welcomes the fact that there will be a facility-related mandatory vaccination and not for specific professional groups alone, such as nursing staff. A general vaccination requirement would be even better, said a spokeswoman. The deadline of mid-March makes sense, since by then all employees have the chance to get protection. The association believes that there is room for improvement in the requirement that employees submit their evidence to the management of the respective company. It would be more expedient for the health authorities to take over the test, "since this is a sovereign task".

In the justification for the new law, reference is made to the fact that, despite the handling of vulnerable people, the vaccination rate in many facilities is not higher than in the normal population.

A survey by the Robert Koch Institute in 165 nursing homes for the elderly showed a full vaccination rate of 83 percent among all employees.

In 5 percent of the homes, the rate was less than 50 percent.

Vogler made it clear that the nursing staff were largely vaccinated.

If there are homes and clinics with low immunization rates, it is mostly because of other workers.

Diakonie considers compulsory vaccination to be sensible

The objection to the compulsory vaccination was that it exacerbated the “nursing emergency” because people who did not want to be vaccinated could no longer work or left their job. In countries like France, however, it has been shown that emigration is comparatively low - and that vaccination rates are rising sharply. Vogler says it is "outrageous" to link the questions together. Everything must be done to make the nursing profession more attractive, but also to prevent the virus from spreading. If employees, such as cleaning or kitchen staff, say goodbye due to the obligation to vaccinate, “then that's the way it is. It's about protecting health and life. "

It is now important to create legal certainty, to clarify the financial and organizational consequences and to manage the vaccinations.

The deadline specified in the law of March 15 is "sporty" for the facilities, but "a long and not uncritical range" for containment.

Vogler reminded that for the first third of the year a general vaccination requirement was also being considered: "The facility-related vaccination requirement may then be overtaken, that would be a good thing."

Repetitions from the last lockdown

From a legal point of view, it will not be easy to establish compulsory vaccination. Many constitutional lawyers have no doubt that an introduction would be possible in principle. Such an interference with the physical integrity is permissible, as the Federal Constitutional Court last ruled in the urgent proceedings against the measles obligation in 2020. The problem lies in the detail. The Regensburg law professor Thorsten Kingreen pointed out in the FAZ Einspruch Podcast that the facility-related vaccination obligation is more vulnerable than a general one. Because in the case of obligations only for certain professional groups, the accusation of arbitrary unequal treatment is quickly raised.

Something similar happened in the previous lockdown when businesses were closed: there, traders repeatedly sued against conditions that other shops did not apply, even though they were in comparable situations.

Critics of the facility-related vaccination requirement put in the same line: They complain that kindergarten teachers or teachers are not included, although they also have close contact with vulnerable groups.

On Tuesday, lawyers listed a number of fields on Twitter in which compulsory vaccination is useful and necessary.

The state must protect people "whom it is forced to bring into uncontrollable contact situations", as legal scholar Johannes Gallon put it.

This included schools, courts, police, prison and refugee shelters.