Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (54, CSU) has infuriated German pediatricians with this demand. On Wednesday, Söder presented the idea of making vaccination mandatory for children from the age of 12. That would be “very sensible,” he said in an interview with Bayerischer Rundfunk. In his opinion, it could be done quickly and would make schools completely safe places. He believes that vaccinations could even be carried out in classrooms.
This statement is in clear contradiction to the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko)! In August, the expert body clearly stated: “Stiko is strongly opposed to vaccination as a condition for the participation of children and adolescents in society.” Furthermore, it was felt that vaccination should only be done after a doctor has informed them of the benefits and risks involved.
Severe COVID-19 disease in children is rare
Thomas Fischbach (61), president of the professional association of pediatricians, also spares no criticism: “Markus Söder should vaccinate those who notoriously refuse vaccinations. These are not children, these are adults.” He stressed that vaccinating children should be approached differently than vaccinating adults: “Children do not benefit as much from this vaccination.” This is because in their case, severe disease is rare. Therefore, the benefit of the vaccination is less for them than for adults. Fischbach also added that even though children and adolescents may not have been vaccinated for that long at all, the vaccination rate in this age group is already staggeringly high anyway.
The fact is that the vaccination rate in Bavaria is low; in comparison with other federal states, Bavaria only ranks 11th. It is not so easy to get a free appointment here. Yet the pressure to vaccinate children and adolescents is particularly great. Unvaccinated children already miss out on many leisure-time activities. In the new year, the 2G rule will apply from the age of 12.