The (digital) vaccination certificate – is Germany getting back to the (new) normal?

How is the vaccination sequence regulated in Germany?

The vaccination sequence is determined by the regulation of the Federal Ministry of Health dated 08.02.2021 on the right to vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The regulation is based on a recommendation of the permanent vaccination committee at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Accordingly, when distributing available vaccines, the federal states must distinguish between persons with the highest, high and increased priority as well as all other beneficiaries. Here, the distinction is made in particular according to age and any pre-existing conditions of the person concerned. In addition, persons working in healthcare and nursing professions are also prioritised in the distribution of vaccines. As of 08.03.2021, 10.4 million vaccine doses were delivered to the federal states. The average of the daily vaccine doses is over 200,000.

Should there be special rights for "vaccinated persons" in Germany?

Whether exceptions to the existing restrictions should apply to vaccinated persons is an ongoing controversial discussion. The German Ethics Committee spoke out against such exceptions if an infection of these persons cannot be ruled out in an ad-hoc recommendation. Exemptions for vaccinated persons can only be permissible if these persons do not pose a risk of infection or at least pose only a low risk of infection. Exceptions can also only be introduced due to the principle of equality, if the vaccine is available to every person willing to be vaccinated. This is also clear from a draft of the research services of the German Bundestag. However, it has also been established that measures restricting freedom can only be justified if necessary for protecting the health of the population. The restrictions must be lifted if this is not the case. Private autonomy also allows private companies to freely decide whether they make access to their company dependent on existing immunisation.

Is the (digital) vaccination certificate coming to Germany?

On 21.01.2021, the European Council agreed on the introduction of a digital vaccination certificate. In Germany, this is taking place in addition to the analogous vaccination certificate. The program is being developed under the leadership of IBM and should be available by the end of the second quarter of 2021. At the European level, the EU Commission wants to submit a draft law on the introduction of a "digital green vaccination certificate" on 17.03.2021, in which the vaccination status and test results can be recorded. This is intended to simplify EU international travel. However, the WHO criticised this project, since it is still unclear whether and to what extent immunisation of vaccinated persons exists.