Dhe chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO), Thomas Mertens, rejects a general corona vaccination obligation. “That divides society, because too much pressure is built up,” he told the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” and the “Stuttgarter Zeitung”. He is counting on further persuasion and education about vaccination.
In the case of compulsory vaccination, it is not necessarily to be expected that “the intended goal can actually be achieved,” added Mertens. A statutory vaccination requirement is only worth as much as it can be effectively implemented. “What do you do with those who refuse?” Asked the virologist. These people would possibly not allow themselves to be changed by a fine. In addition, even a quick vaccination requirement could not break the current corona wave.
Mertens also defended STIKO’s work in the pandemic. “We didn’t make any substantive errors, we don’t make decisions on the basis of opinions, but rather on the basis of careful evaluation of all available data and knowledge,” he said.
Germany affords “the luxury of an independent committee of experts” that makes recommendations regardless of the interests of politics or the pharmaceutical industry. What the STIKO decides does not suit everyone. “But there is a big difference between evidence and perceived truth,” said Mertens.
The STIKO and its chairman were repeatedly criticized for their reluctant and, in international comparison, later recommendations for vaccinations for children or pregnant women and at the time for booster vaccinations. At the beginning of December last year, Mertens told the FAZ that he was “not now [gegen das Coronavirus] get vaccinated ”. Thereupon there was a debate about child vaccinations, Mertens regretted his statement: “The decision about the vaccination is really a very personal matter, and that is also reflected in our current vaccination recommendation. It was probably the only mistake I made at the time that I said anything personal at all, “he explained to the” world “.