Berlin (dpa) – The decision of the Conference of Health Ministers to offer more corona vaccination offers to 12 to 17-year-olds, for example in vaccination centers, is met with great reluctance from parents, doctors and teachers. School directors fear conflicts in educational institutions.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved Biontech and Moderna vaccines from the age of 12. In Germany, despite political pressure, the Permanent Vaccination Commission (Stiko) has not recommended vaccinations for children in general, but only if there is a higher risk of more serious corona courses – but they are possible with medical advice.
The new school year has already started in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Hamburg will follow on Thursday. The school directors expect conflicts between teachers, parents and students due to an increase in corona vaccinations for 12 to 17-year-olds. “Of course there will be heated discussions in everyday life. The teachers must be prepared for this,” said the president of the General School Management Association Germany, Gudrun Wolters-Vogeler, the Funke media group’s newspapers. There will be “anticipated conflicts over whether vaccinations are necessary and whether parental rights are overlooked”. In addition, there will be “debates with children who are allowed to refuse vaccinations or who absolutely want them”.
Vaccination status may not be requested
The head of the association fears that conflicts may also arise in connection with ordered quarantines. Clarification by the school about which children and young people have already been vaccinated is also difficult. They assume that for legal reasons, schools are not allowed to inquire about the vaccination status of individual students. The teachers should hold back on advice about vaccination, Wolters-Vogeler said. This is also the advice of the President of the German Teachers’ Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger. “That is not your responsibility. Ultimately, the parents have to decide for themselves after medical advice,” Meidinger told the Funke newspapers.
Many parents are also very critical of the vaccinations offered to their children, as Ines Weber, member of the board of directors of the Federal Parents’ Council, told the German News Agency. It justified this with the fact that the Stiko had not yet issued an opinion and that there was no certainty about the long-term effects of the vaccination.
Face-to-face lessons also for unvaccinated children
According to their association president Ulrich Weigeldt, the general practitioners have not yet received feedback about a rush of families who want advice. Also for unvaccinated children and young people a safe start to school should be made possible with face-to-face lessons, Weigeldt demanded in the “Rheinische Post”. “One thing must be clear: under no circumstances should there be only the two options ‘vaccination’ or ‘home education’ – the politics must pay off more, the children and adolescents deserve that after this time of hardship,” Weigeldt said.
Federal Minister of Family Christine Lambrecht defended the plans to offer children and young people a vaccination to protect them as best as possible against corona. The vaccination is voluntary, the parents and their children decide on their own responsibility, said the SPD politician of the “Rheinische Post”. «For our children, it is absolutely necessary that classroom lessons take place again after the holidays. That is why a high vaccination rate is crucial – especially in adults,” says Lambrecht.