Bundeswehr soldiers have had to be vaccinated against other diseases for a long time. This has also been mandatory against the corona virus since last year. Two officers resist.
In a lawsuit about compulsory corona vaccination in the Bundeswehr, an expert from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) underlined the effectiveness of the vaccination.
“Protection against a serious illness is very stable and only slightly decreasing six months after the booster, even with the omicron variant,” said the head of vaccination prevention at the RKI, Ole Wichmann, before the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. The protection against a mild course or transmission decreases significantly over time.
Two Air Force officers are opposed to the inclusion of the corona vaccination in a list of vaccinations that are mandatory for soldiers. Above all, they see their fundamental right to physical integrity violated (Az.: BVerwG 1 WB 2.22, BVerwG 1 WB 5.22). The 1st Military Service Senate of the Federal Administrative Court is responsible in the first and last instance.
The officers’ lawyers questioned whether the corona vaccination was suitable for preventing communicable diseases. They also doubted that Covid-19 was even a dangerous disease – especially for the professional group of soldiers. Among other things, the lawyers accused the RKI of not considering or manipulating certain data for an assessment.
The doctor and epidemiologist at the RKI based his information on RKI studies and international surveys in addition to the reporting data from the health authorities. The RKI wants to present current data on the effectiveness of the vaccines in about two weeks. “But nothing will change in terms of protection against severe courses,” emphasized Wichmann.
Today, an expert from the Paul Ehrlich Institute is also to be heard on the vaccines. On the first day of negotiations in May, the Senate negotiated well into the evening. This can also be expected on Tuesday. The Senate has scheduled another day of negotiations for Wednesday. It is still unclear whether a decision will then be announced.
Other vaccinations required for years
Soldiers have to be vaccinated against a whole range of diseases if there are no particular health reasons not to do so. These include hepatitis, measles, rubella, mumps and influenza. On November 24, 2021, the Department of Defense made a Covid-19 vaccination mandatory. Disciplinary action will be taken against anyone who disobeys the vaccination schedule.
According to a preliminary survey by the Ministry of Defense, the proportion of vaccinated and recovered soldiers who are currently fully immunized is 94 percent.