Federal Constitutional Court approves compulsory care vaccination

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46 people have complained to the Federal Constitutional Court about the compulsory corona vaccination for nursing and medical staff. Now the highest German court has dismissed her constitutional complaint.

Medical workers care for a corona patient in a clinic in Bochum (archive image)

The Federal Constitutional Court has confirmed the facility-related obligation to vaccinate against the corona virus. The judges in Karlsruhe rejected a constitutional complaint against corresponding parts of the Infection Protection Act. The protection of so-called vulnerable groups weighs constitutionally more heavily than the impairment of the basic rights of nursing and health workers, they argued.

The court admitted that there was an interference with physical integrity. The only alternative is to no longer practice the profession or to change jobs. But the legislature's consideration of “giving priority to the protection of vulnerable people over a free vaccination decision in every respect” is not objectionable. The further development of the corona pandemic with the Omicron variant does not justify any different Assessment.

Urgent decision already in February

In Karlsruhe, it was mainly unvaccinated employees and managers of facilities who wanted to continue to employ unvaccinated staff who complained. In February, in summary proceedings, the judges refused to suspend the regulations for the time being. The so-called facility-related compulsory vaccination could therefore be implemented as planned in mid-March. The first senate of the Federal Constitutional Court decided at that time: “The very low probability of serious consequences of a vaccination is offset by the significantly higher probability of damage to the life and limb of vulnerable people.” The obligation to vaccinate meets “at the time of this decision, no fundamental constitutional concerns,” it said. However, there was still a comprehensive examination of the constitutional complaints, which has now taken place. 

Even then, the judges in Karlsruhe critically noted that there was nothing more specific in the law about proof of vaccination and recovery. Reference is only made to a regulation with further references to the websites of the Paul Ehrlich Institute and the Robert Koch Institute. Since the law was changed during the complaints procedure and a new paragraph defining the vaccination and proof of recovery was introduced was, the court currently no longer commented on the question of the reference to  Homepages of relevant institutions.

The constitutional judges essentially confirmed their emergency decision from February (archive image)

Why this kind of compulsory vaccination?

The so-called facility-related compulsory vaccination is intended to protect old and weakened people from infection with the corona virus. They have a particularly high risk of becoming very ill or dying of it. Employees in nursing homes and clinics, but also, for example, in doctor's offices and outpatient services, midwives, masseurs and physiotherapists had to prove by March 15 that they were fully vaccinated or had recently recovered. New employees needed proof from March 16.

If he is missing, the facility must inform the health department. It can prohibit those affected from entering their workplace or continuing to work. There is an exception for people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. However, there have so far been problems with the implementation of the facility-related compulsory vaccination.

New attempt for compulsory vaccination?

First On Monday, at a digital conference of health ministers, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse called for a new start in the Bundestag for compulsory vaccination from the age of 60 in view of the threatening corona wave in autumn. In this way, an overload of the health system and thus restrictions for the entire population could be avoided. At the end of June, the health ministers are to discuss this again and make a decision. 

Watch video 02:28

No majority for compulsory vaccination from 60 (April 7th, 2022)

A cross-party draft for a General vaccination, initially from the age of 60, clearly failed in the Bundestag at the beginning of April. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz then made it clear that he saw no basis for a renewed attempt.

kle/se (dpa, afp, rtr)