For Bundeswehr soldiers, protection against the coronavirus is to be included in the list of vaccinations that must be tolerated. An arbitration committee made a recommendation to this effect on Monday after hours of negotiations, as the Deutsche Presse-Agentur learned from the Defense Ministry. The panel, consisting of three representatives each from the Defense Ministry and the participation committees, thus reached a preliminary decision in a months-long dispute.
Also, the Bundeswehr expert Thomas Wiegold on his blog "augengeradeaus" that a committee of soldiers' representatives and the Ministry of Defense recommended an inclusion of vaccination against the coronavirus in the catalog of protective vaccinations for the armed forces of the Bundeswehr.
According to the report, sources within the ministry and the personnel representatives said that the committee already agreed on this proposal in its first meeting, Wiegold said in the blog post. Accordingly, a decision by the ministry's military or political leadership is still needed for inclusion in the so-called basic vaccination scheme for men and women in the armed forces. Finished plans to make vaccinations against the coronavirus mandatory for the more than 180,000 men and women in the armed forces had initially been delayed because of opposition from personnel representatives.
The obligation to tolerate vaccination and preventive measures was introduced in the German armed forces several years ago. Soldiers who refuse to do so face disciplinary consequences. The Bundeswehr refers to the Soldiers' Act and the operational readiness of the troops.
"The soldier must tolerate medical measures against his will only if they 1. serve to prevent or combat communicable diseases or 2. serve to determine his fitness for service or employment," the Soldiers Act, Section 17a, states.
And: "If the soldier refuses a reasonable medical measure and his ability to serve or work is impaired as a result, he can be denied care in this respect. A medical measure that is associated with a significant danger to life or health is not reasonable."
The principle of proportionality must be observed, especially with regard to possible side effects of vaccination. And if there are serious complications, there are claims under pension law. Defense Commissioner Eva Högl and defense experts from the "traffic light" parties - the SPD, the Greens and the FDP - had recently spoken out in favor of including the Corona vaccinations in the basic vaccination scheme and thus making them mandatory.
Photo by Maxime DorÃ©