COVID: German Ethics Council approves mandatory vaccines | News | DW

Germany’s Ethics Council said on Wednesday it supported compulsory vaccination for all adults over 18.

National and state leaders asked the body for its assessment earlier this month, with Germany battling a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What was the decision of the Ethics Council?

A slim majority, 13 out of 24, was in favor of extending the mandate to all adults eligible for the live vaccine in Germany. A larger number, 20 members, declared themselves in favor of extending an already existing mandate – in areas where particularly vulnerable people are taken care of – to all vulnerable people.

However, the body said it rejects the use of physical force.

He stresses that high vaccination rates are essential to move to a controlled endemic situation with the COVID-19 virus and that the situation seemed particularly urgent at the present time.

“Currently, the German healthcare system is reaching its limits in many places. Viral variants such as omicron and other expected variants of the virus are forcing experts to constantly reassess their estimates of the future course of the pandemic.”

“Not a panacea for the pandemic”

However, the body said expanding immunization mandates was only part of both curbing the pandemic in the short term and, in the long term, ending it.

“Its extension can therefore only be justified if it is able to mitigate or prevent the serious negative consequences of possible future pandemic waves, such as high mortality, long-term adverse effects on the health of a party. large population or an impending health collapse. care system. ”

“Compulsory vaccination cannot break the current fourth wave in the short term. Likewise, compulsory vaccination cannot be a panacea for the pandemic; it can only be considered as part of a comprehensive, evidence-based, differentiated and forward-looking global pandemic strategy. . “

The Ethics Council said the expansion of compulsory vaccination must be accompanied by a series of measures that would also improve vaccination.

These include strengthening the nation-wide infrastructure to deliver vaccines, provide easily accessible immunization services and ensure an adequate supply of vaccines.

There should be direct invitations to those who are obligated to vaccinate, he said, as well as a secure national immunization registry, and ongoing assessment and associated research is recommended.

The body also said compulsory vaccination should be associated with target group-specific, culturally sensitive, multilingual and easy to understand information, including through social media.

He added that there should be efforts to bridge social divisions between those who received the jab and those who did not.

“In implementing compulsory vaccination, political actors and state authorities should consciously work to avoid frontlines between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. “

What is the German Ethics Council?

The Ethics Council is made up of 26 experts from various fields. This includes Protestant and Catholic theologians, members of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, doctors, biologists and lawyers.

Its members are appointed by the German President to advise policymakers and raise public awareness of complex and controversial issues.

The board’s proposals are not binding.

rc / rt (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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