The corona vaccination rate in Germany is too low. Now the federal government is bombarding the facility-related vaccination requirement.

Frankfurt – The Bundestag and Bundesrat approved changes to the Infection Protection Act on Friday (December 10th, 2021). This includes a so-called “facility-related” vaccination requirement. The new federal government consisting of the SPD, Greens and FDP wants to curb the spread of the corona virus.

From March 15, 2022 until the end of the year, employees in certain areas must prove that they are fully vaccinated against Corona. But who exactly does this mandatory vaccination apply to? And what happens in the event of violations?

Corona: „Facility-related“ vaccination obligation decided – but who does it apply to?

The plan of the new federal government stipulates that the mandatory vaccination will initially only come into effect „on a facility-related basis“. Clinics and hospitals are considered to be facilities within the meaning of the law, including day clinics, rehabilitation facilities or dialysis centers, as well as all retirement and nursing homes and outpatient care services.

Self-employed midwives, birthing centers, medical practices and other practices such as physiotherapy practices are also included. In addition, the mandatory vaccination applies to the facilities of the public health service, emergency services and medical facilities for people with disabilities.

Everyone who works there must prove from March 15, 2022 that they are fully vaccinated against the corona virus. Alternatively, proof of recovery or a doctor’s certificate applies if someone cannot be vaccinated for health reasons.

Compulsory vaccination against corona: who has to pay attention to it?

Contrary to what might initially be assumed, the measure applies to all employees, i.e. not only those who actively work with people within the facilities – but also, for example, for the employees of a cleaning company who clean in a day clinic, driving services and Assistants.
Corona: Employees in a facility and not yet vaccinated. What now?

Anyone who works in nursing, in a clinic or other facility that is subject to this law still has enough time to catch up on the vaccination. The recommended interval between the first and second vaccination is at least three weeks. Unvaccinated people have the opportunity to get their first vaccination until the beginning of February 2022. The second vaccination should then take place at the beginning of March at the latest, because the vaccination protection is only considered complete two weeks after the second vaccination.

Corona vaccination: mandatory vaccination equals mandatory vaccination?

A compulsory vaccination is not a compulsory vaccination. Anyone can still refuse to be vaccinated. However, they are then no longer allowed to enter the facilities in question, which in the worst case scenario means losing their jobs. Of course, everyone who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons is excluded. However, they have to prove this with a medical certificate.

Corona vaccination obligation: can unvaccinated people be terminated?

Unvaccinated people can be terminated. In this case, the termination is an indirect consequence of the decision not to be vaccinated. Such an indirect compulsory vaccination already exists in some facilities of the health system with regard to vaccinations against measles. If you want a job in these, you often only get it in connection with a full vaccination. There is therefore no need for a separate legal regulation, because such personal terminations are already possible.

Employers must do everything to continue to employ unvaccinated employees in a form that is compatible with the legal requirements – for example, working purely from the home office. In most of the affected areas, however, the work can only be done on site. The facilities can therefore terminate the unvaccinated person for personal reasons.

Labor lawyers consider this option to be legally valid. By giving notice, employers are fulfilling their statutory obligation to ensure the well-being of the people in their facilities.

Compulsory vaccination against corona: is that something new?

The measles protection law, which came into force in March 2020, obliges employees in medical practices, nursing services, refugee shelters and clinics to be vaccinated. The measles vaccination requirement even applies to children: If a child is to be admitted to a daycare center or school, parents must prove that they have been vaccinated against measles or that they are already immune.

Corona vaccination: who will control it?

Employers: in or client: in have to check the vaccination status. In the past, however, there have been repeated falsifications of vaccination certificates. If there are any doubts about the authenticity of the evidence, the health authorities will be informed.

Corona vaccination obligation: who can vaccinate?

The new federal government wants to accelerate the implementation of the vaccinations. In the future, dentists, pharmacists and even veterinarians should therefore also be entitled to vaccinate against corona after receiving appropriate training.

Corona vaccination becomes mandatory: will this soon apply to third-party vaccinations?

The current database of virology strongly suggests that permanent vaccination protection against the coronavirus is only given after the third dose of the vaccine. In order to make definitive statements about this, however, the doctors and immunologists still lack valid scientific knowledge.

Corona vaccination: is there a general compulsory vaccination?

The neighboring country of Austria wants to introduce the general corona vaccination requirement as early as February. In Germany, this option is currently being discussed across parliamentary groups in the Bundestag. France, Italy, Great Britain and Greece have already introduced compulsory vaccinations for employees in health professions. The vaccination rate in these countries is correspondingly high.

In Poland too, doctors, teachers and security guards will have to be vaccinated from March 1st. It remains to be seen whether the introduction of the facility-related compulsory vaccination in Germany will lead to less skepticism about vaccination and thus to a generally higher vaccination rate. (Nadja Austel)

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