Germany could start inoculating primary school teachers and daycare workers as early as March, as Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) and Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) have shown support for the idea of changing the vaccination order over the weekend.
A formal decision is expected at the conference of health ministers on Monday.
This comes as the country saw a recent stagnation in the decline of coronavirus cases and 10 of Germany’s 16 states plan to reopen schools as of Monday.
“We need to watch what impact school openings will have on the infection level,” said Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). According to him, it is crucial for Germany’s schools and day care centres to reopen but because maintaining distance is difficult in these settings, teachers and daycare workers should be prioritised. Spahn also reemphasised the importance of increasing testing for those working in schools.
For her part, Karliczek (CDU) said that “both professions perform tasks that are of quite great importance to our entire society, and this should be reflected in vaccination prioritisation.”
However, not everyone in the CDU/CSU is on board with the potential changes. The party’s health policy spokesperson, Karin Maag, wants to keep to the recommendations of the Permanent Vaccination Commission, adding that changes get one “into very difficult trade-offs.” (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)