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Bonus encouraged for nurses who are willing to vaccinate

Berlin. The CDU health politician Alexander Krauss has spoken out in favor of paying bonuses to employees in nursing homes and hospitals who are vaccinated against the corona virus. "This could definitely increase the vaccination rates," said Krauss over the weekend in Berlin.

A vaccination is primarily in the interests of the employees themselves, said Krauss. But employers are also beneficiaries. Immunization "significantly" reduces the risk that employees in homes and clinics will fall ill with the virus and will not be able to work. It also reduces the likelihood that employees will infect residents or patients.

Achieve a vaccination rate of over 70 percent

In hospitals and nursing homes in particular, an “above-average vaccination rate” should be aimed for, demanded Krauss. This must be over 70 percent. In order to achieve this quota, awareness campaigns should be pushed. "Anyone who works in geriatric care and health care should be informed about vaccination with a wealth of facts."

Most recently, it had been shown that numerous nurses are still skeptical about the vaccinations against Corona. According to a survey by the German Society for Internal Intensive Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine and the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, 73 percent of doctors and almost 50 percent of nurses want to be vaccinated.

However, the survey took place last December. The DIVI had therefore pointed out that since the vaccination started in Germany shortly after Christmas, "a lot" had happened in terms of vaccination readiness.

DKG: Not a suitable instrument

The premium proposal was rejected by the German Hospital Association (DKG). "In principle, we welcome all employers' activities to strengthen the willingness to vaccinate and to advertise vaccination," said DKG managing director Georg Baum of the "Ärzte Zeitung" on Monday. The focus of the actions should always be education and information. We do not see a suitable instrument in vaccination premiums. "

The Federal Association of Private Providers of Social Services (bpa) said employers could not force anyone to get vaccinated. The legislature has clearly regulated that each individual must weigh for himself whether he should be vaccinated or not. “We cannot therefore make the decision for anyone. We should certainly not buy them, "said bpa-President Bernd Meurer of the" Ärzte Zeitung ".

bpa: Don't want to buy anyone!

One reason for the "somewhat reluctant willingness to vaccinate" is certainly that nurses are concerned with the effects and consequences of the vaccination, said Meurer. "This is where education is good." The willingness to vaccinate would then increase significantly when it was clarified that "vaccinated people no longer pose a risk of infection and therefore make everyday work easier for the nursing staff," emphasized Meurer.

The German Nursing Council also reacted cautiously. "I think a premium payment in connection with the vaccination readiness is a mistake," said Council President Dr. Franz Wagner of the "Ärzte Zeitung". Getting vaccinated is “not a question of money,” says Wagner. "What is needed for the target group is factually well-prepared information so that any concerns that may exist about vaccination can be resolved."

Wagner emphasized that when weighing up the risks of a vaccination and those of a COVID-19 disease, “everything speaks for the vaccination”. Therefore, the nursing council also calls on the carers to get vaccinated.

Last week, the Verdi union appealed to care workers in clinics and homes to get vaccinated against corona.

FDP: Education is the key to success

The bonus idea also received harsh criticism from the FDP parliamentary group. "I consider Alexander Krauss' proposal to be an act of desperation and naive," said the chairman of the Liberals in the health committee, Professor Andrew Ullmann, of the "Ärzte Zeitung".

Ullmann reminded Krauss, who has been a member of the Bundestag for the Erzgebirgskreis I since 2017, that the CDU in Saxony has its back to the wall when it comes to the pandemic. “They have high incidence values ​​and the lowest vaccination rate in Germany to date. That is the fault of the CDU-led state government in Dresden. "

Wanting to “bait” employees in the health care system or in the public service with money does little or nothing to increase the vaccination rate, according to Ullmann. "My experiences as an infectiologist tell me that only timely and good education is the key to success."