Bonn/Region · The incidence in Bonn has slightly decreased. The German Hospital Association wants the German Ethics Council to state its position on the subject of compulsory Corona vaccinations. Here are the latest developments around the pandemic and case numbers.
Universities expect negative "Corona effect" among new students
Colleges and universities in North Rhine-Westphalia expect problems for students transferring to higher education as a result of long online classes during the Corona period. Systematically, such a "Corona effect" cannot yet be confirmed, "but in terms of plausibility, we expect it not only next year or the year after, but in the next few years," said the Chairman of the State Rectors' Conference of the Universities of Applied Sciences in NRW, Bernd Kriegesmann, in Düsseldorf on Monday. The failures from the pandemic period already started in primary school and "ran through all school classes“.
Lambert T. Koch, Chairman of the State Rectors' Conference of the Universities in North Rhine-Westphalia, expects problems for future students, especially with regard to mathematics. Because there it is a matter of practice. However, random checks had shown that the failure rates at the universities had "not increased significantly" in the pandemic semesters. Additional free-trial regulations had contributed to this. Some students wanted to make up the exams in this or the next semester, so they then studied one or two semesters longer, Koch said.
Hospitals demand clear statement on compulsory vaccination
The German Hospital Association wants the German Ethics Council to state its position on the subject of compulsory Corona vaccinations. On Monday in Berlin, it appealed to the federal government to commission the Ethics Council to evaluate compulsory vaccination for certain professional groups.
The debate on compulsory vaccination, which has been smouldering for weeks, is counterproductive and will lower rather than promote the willingness to vaccinate both in the professional groups concerned and in the general population, DKG Chairman Gerald Gaß fears. Employers and employees would be left alone with this issue. "It is the political responsibility of the government to have the Ethics Council draw the lines here," explained the representative of Germany's hospitals.
The Ethics Council had already taken a differentiated position on compulsory measles vaccination in 2019. On this basis, the evaluation for a Corona vaccination obligation by the Ethics Council "could also take place in the very short term", explained Gaß. "We now need clarity on where the road leads so that the discussions come to an end and the acceptance of a political decision for or against compulsory vaccination is strengthened," he demanded.
Regardless of this, the vaccination campaign must be further improved and more precisely targeted, he said. For this purpose, low-threshold offers as well as a target group-oriented approach and education are necessary, said Gaß.
Paediatricians reaffirm rejection of compulsory masks at schools
The professional association of paediatricians and adolescents has reiterated its demand for an end to the compulsory use of masks in schools. Now is the right time for this, said the association's spokesman, the Berlin paediatrician Jakob Maske, on Deutschlandfunk radio on Monday. Children and young people had suffered enough, he said, backing down and showing consideration for older age groups. "Now it's finally time again to do normal lessons, to be able to breathe normally through mouth and nose, without there being a restriction here by the mask."
Virologist Melanie Brinkmann of the Braunschweig-based Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research had called the abolition of mandatory masks in schools "premature", citing the high number of non-vaccinated people, including children. In the meantime, mask rules for schoolchildren have been relaxed in several federal states.
Of course, viruses would spread faster again as a result, Maske said. "But we are not very concerned because children very, very, very rarely get really badly ill." But they should continue to be protected by vaccinations of school staff and teachers. "So when do we want to go back to normal? Do we want to wear masks all the time now?" the paediatrician asked. There are always infections, he said. Corona is relatively harmless for this age group, he said. "We don't want to play it down. There are some severe cases, no question, but it is a harmless infection for children at the moment."
(Original text: dpa/ga; Translation: Mareike Graepel)