Benefits for corona-immunized: ‘currently’ against vaccination privileges

The federal government is debating a law that would ban benefits for the vaccinated. But is such a law even necessary – and possible?

Does a law banning benefits for corona vaccinated people make sense? Photo: Matthias Bein/dpa

The SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag is considering a ban on privileges for corona vaccinees. Previously, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) and Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) had already spoken out against benefits for vaccinated people.

Johannes Fechner, the SPD’s legal policy spokesman, sees two possible approaches for a legal ban on such privileges for vaccinated people. First, the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) could be amended. So far, it only prohibits discrimination in the private sector on the grounds of "racial or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity." Here, "immunization" could be added as a new criterion.

It would also be possible, according to SPD man Fechner, to prohibit general terms and conditions (AGB) that make corona vaccination a prerequisite for certain services such as passenger transport. The prohibition would then stand with the AGB control in the civil code (BGB).

However, many who currently oppose vaccination privileges qualify this with the caveat that such distinctions are only "currently" inappropriate. The first reason is scientific. It is still unclear whether vaccinated persons are only protected against the disease themselves or whether they can no longer pass on the virus to others after vaccination. Reliable findings on the infectivity of vaccinated persons are not expected until February.

A "phantom discussion"?

The second reason for a temporary privilege ban is logistics. Not everyone can be vaccinated in one fell swoop. That’s why Health Minister Jens Spahn set a clear order in his Corona vaccination decree of mid-December. First come the over 80-year-olds, the residents of nursing homes and the people who work there. Then those over 70, people with trisomy 21, dementia patients and police officers.

Those younger than 60 do not come until the fourth stage. However, as long as a large part of the population has not had a chance to be vaccinated at all, the preferred circles should not also have advantages in everyday life. This phase is expected to last until the summer. Then, Minister Spahn hopes, a dose will also be available to all those willing to be vaccinated.

Jan Marco Luczak, the legal policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, considers the SPD’s move to be a "phantom discussion" with no practical relevance: "After all, it does a club operator no good at all if he allows eighty-year-olds who will be vaccinated in the coming weeks and months to enter, but not twenty-year-olds who are willing to party and do not yet have the opportunity to be vaccinated." The same applies to restaurants or supermarkets, which would probably have no interest in excluding a large proportion of their customers who have not yet been vaccinated, said Luczak.

One argument in favor of precautionary regulation, however, is that vaccinated people can sue against government restrictions. For example, vaccinated police officers and geriatric nurses could demand that curfews not apply to them. To prevent a two-tier society, therefore, the privilege ban would have to be backed up by law beforehand.

However, most Corona restrictions are likely to be rolled back anyway when warmer weather returns and the most vulnerable groups are vaccinated. Then the need for preferential treatment for the vaccinated would also decrease accordingly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *