Düsseldorf Paediatricians are calling for a regulation for teachers and educators comparable to that for nursing staff. This is being opposed. Meanwhile, educators are demanding that masks be brought back to schools.
After introducing compulsory vaccination for nursing staff, paediatricians are now demanding a similar regulation for educators and teachers. "We need a 2G rule for employees at day-care centres and schools," Jakob Maske, national press spokesman for the Professional Association of Paediatricians and Adolescent Doctors (BDKJ), told our editorial team. Under no circumstances should there be any more school closures. Mere testing of teachers is not enough, he said: "We still don't have a vaccination for under 12-year-olds. So, to protect them, we have to vaccinate everyone who has contact with them, if possible.“
NRW Greens parliamentary group leader Josefine Paul was open to such compulsory vaccination: "For people like nursery school teachers and teachers who have close professional contact with children, most of whom cannot yet be vaccinated; compulsory vaccination should at least be considered."
SPD health expert Lauterbach against compulsory vaccination for teachers
SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach does not think much of compulsory vaccination for teaching staff: "Compulsory vaccination in old people's homes is right because it protects people who are particularly at risk. But it would not be absolutely necessary in schools, because children and young people tend not to be so badly affected by a Covid 19 infection." It would make more sense to make masks compulsory.
The Philologists' Association also rejects this: "On the one hand, the vaccination rate among teachers at NRW grammar schools is above average, usually more than 90 percent," said Sabine Mistler, the state chairperson. On the other hand, the interaction among teachers is often characterised by a sense of responsibility and mutual consideration. The association also advocates the reintroduction of compulsory masks in class. Talks on this are already underway at various levels: "So far, however, it does not seem that the Ministry for Schools and Education would move on this issue," Mistler said. The NRW Family Ministry, which is also led by the FDP, said in response to a question about daycare operations: "At the moment, neither group separations nor restrictions on regular operations are planned."
The Minister Presidents of Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein, Markus Söder (CSU) and Daniel Günther (CDU), no longer ruled out a general vaccination requirement in Germany in view of the dramatic infection situation. The country should not be permanently dominated by this pandemic, Günther said.
Politicians of the possible "traffic light" coalition ruled out a general vaccination obligation for Germany. "There won't be one," caretaker Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) told TV station Bild Live. "Because we don't think it's necessary, because we also think it's difficult from a constitutional point of view." SPD state leader Thomas Kutschaty was not quite so unequivocal in his comments to our editorial office: "The federal states have asked the federal government to introduce compulsory vaccination for certain professional groups. This is a far-reaching step that must be secured by a careful legislative process." He said that the adopted 3G rule in the workplace provided for more safety: "Nevertheless, it is reasonable that the necessary measures are now being taken in the federal government to examine a corresponding legislative process." Green caucus leader Paul is also critical of a general vaccination requirement. (Original text: Kirsten Bialdiga and Reinhard Kowalewsky / Translation: Mareike Graepel)