Mainz (dpa / lrs) - According to Health Minister Sabine Bätzing-Lichtenthäler (SPD), Rhineland-Palatinate faces three major challenges in the coming year.

These consist in the distribution and prioritization of the corona vaccine, in a fatigue observed in many people to adhere to the distance and hygiene rules, and in the effects of the pandemic on the job market, she told the German press agency.

The vaccine will certainly be too scarce to start with to address all risk groups, she said.

Prioritization is an “ethically complex decision” that she does not make alone.

"The Standing Vaccination Commission, the Ethics Council - everyone deals with it," emphasized Bätzing-Lichtenthäler.

You have also set up an ethics advisory board for corona vaccination "for prioritization within the prioritization" in Rhineland-Palatinate.

She sees the next challenge in making the population aware of the need to continue to observe the rules of distance and hygiene.

"People get tired, you experience that, they don't feel like walking around wearing a mask," she explained.

But the concept “I protect you, you protect me” is one of the positive messages of this year and it must be possible to carry it over into the new year.

"But that's a job for everyone," she said.


Bätzing-Lichtenthäler, who also heads the labor and social department, sees the third task in the labor market.

The situation there has calmed down somewhat in the past few months.

"But it will be a long time before we get back to pre-crisis levels - and it will vary from region to region," she said.

In addition to the stresses caused by the corona pandemic, the economy is in the middle of a transformation process towards digitization and more climate protection.

"That is why we try, for example with our RechargeRLP program, that people can use the short-time working phase for qualification," she explained.

It is also important to offer opportunities to those young people who have problems when “not as many apprenticeship positions are filled as we actually need”, added the minister.

"That leads to problems that are expressed years later in the shortage of skilled workers."