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Germany’s High Court Finds Mandatory COVID Vaccines for Health Workers ‘Constitutionally Justified’

The Federal Constitutional Court in Germany on Thursday rejected a complaint that the mandatory Covid vaccination of healthcare workers was a violation of their rights.

“The contested provisions do not infringe the complainants’ rights, in particular under the Basic Law,” a press release in German states. “Insofar as the regulations interfere with the fundamental rights mentioned, these interferences are constitutionally justified. Within the scope of the assessment to which it is entitled, the legislature has found an appropriate balance between the protection of vulnerable people from infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is pursued with the obligation to provide proof, and the violations of fundamental rights. Despite the high intensity of the intervention, the constitutionally protected interests of the complainants working in the health and care sector must ultimately take a back seat.”

The German court further claimed that it was legally valid for healthcare institutions to require proof that workers are vaccinated for the coronavirus.

“The obligation to provide proof is also necessary in the constitutional sense to protect vulnerable people,” the court claimed. “In this respect, the legislature had a wide scope for assessment, because the pandemic is characterized by dangerous but difficult to predict dynamics, so the situation is complex. Based on the knowledge available at the time the law was passed on the transmissibility of the virus and on the possibilities of countering its spread, there is no constitutional objection to the fact that the legislature assumed that no means were available.”

The court also ruled that health care workers have legal recourse in that they can simply give up their job instead of taking the mandatory covid vaccination.

“The obligation to provide proof of vaccination is also proportionate in the strict sense on the basis of the information available at the relevant time when the law was passed,” the court ruled. “According to this, the legislature had to take into account that the vaccination required to fulfill the obligation to provide proof represents a significant interference with physical integrity.”

“In this respect, it must be taken into account, among other things, that [the code] does not justify a compulsory vaccination that may be enforceable by sovereignty, but rather leaves the decision to the persons working in the institutions and companies to provide the necessary proof. However, the regulation de facto gives those affected the choice of either giving up their previous job or consenting to the impairment of their physical integrity,” the ruling said”.

“However, the interference with the physical integrity of those affected must be contrasted with constitutional goods of paramount importance,” the court further stated.

“It is incumbent on the legislature to protect life and physical integrity in fulfillment of its obligation to protect, which also follows from Article 2(2) sentence 1 of the Basic Law. This obligation of the legislature to protect vulnerable people intensified at the beginning of December 2021. At that time, after a brief relaxation as part of the fourth wave of infection, the pandemic situation was again characterized by a special infection dynamic, which was accompanied by an increasingly greater probability of infection. This was particularly to the detriment of vulnerable people. In addition to the increased risk of becoming seriously or even fatally ill with COVID-19.”

A Harvard-led study of 68 nations and 2,947 counties in the United States published in the European Journal of Epidemiology showed that “[at] the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases… In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people.”

In December, Germany enforced a nationwide lockdown for the ‘unvaccinated,’ while pointing to surging coronavirus cases. Germany subsequently burst into mass protests.

“Germany is poised to clamp down on people who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 and drastically curtail social contacts to ease pressure on increasingly stretched hospitals,” Bloomberg reported.

“In one of her final acts as chancellor, Angela Merkel will hold talks with Germany’s 16 regional premiers later on Thursday at which they’re expected to agree on new curbs including allowing only people who are vaccinated or recovered into restaurants, theaters and non-essential stores,” the report continued.

“According to a draft agreement prepared by Merkel’s office, there will also be tighter contact restrictions for non-vaccinated people, nightclubs will be closed in places with high infection rates and there will be strict limits on the number of spectators at large public events,” Bloomberg added.

“The important thing is that this is virtually a lockdown for the unvaccinated,” outgoing Health Minister Jens Spahn said. “The more than 12 million adults who aren’t inoculated is what is creating a challenge for the health system.”

In April, the German government’s plans to force all citizens to get the Covid-19 vaccine were defeated in parliament.

“The German government has buried its plans to introduce a coronavirus vaccine mandate after parliament rejected it, but says further restrictions may be inevitable to protect more vulnerable citizens,” the Guardian reported.

“MPs voted against the draft bill… which had it passed would have made it compulsory for over-60s to receive a vaccine, in what is seen as a humiliating defeat for the chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who has long been calling for the legislation,” the report said.

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