Israel on Sunday introduced a “green passport” for citizens who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or have recovered after falling ill. With this passport, citizens are allowed to visit gyms, hotels, theaters or sporting events, among others. Health Minister Juli Edelstein wrote on Twitter that more than 3.2 million Israelis can now enjoy these benefits.
Is a similar concept conceivable in Austria? Christiane Druml, chairwoman of the Bioehtics Commission, talked about this in a Puls24 interview with Thomas Mohr. She pleads for more freedoms or for a “return to normality.”
Right at the beginning, Druml clarifies her position and answers the question whether Austria should also follow this example with: “I think: definitely!” We would suffer “yes all under the restriction of our basic rights”, whereby these restrictions are however necessary, in order not to infect other humans and/or not to infect themselves, continued Druml.
In Israel, about half of the population is currently vaccinated, and those who are will now have more freedom. For the others, however, not. One problem, which Thomas Mohr subsequently points out, is the fact that people are not free to choose when to be vaccinated. Druml is also aware of this, which is why she would like to see the vaccinations progress more quickly – for all those who want to be vaccinated. She points out, however, that “this is neither a special right nor a privilege for the vaccinated, but simply a return to normality, a normality that we all wish for.
Here, however, the government would still have to establish precise rules, such as ensuring that vaccinated persons do not have to be quarantined, even as K1 persons. The return to normality must be designed “in a reasonable way so that everyone can accept and manage it. Again, the chairwoman of the Bioehtics Commission emphasizes that it is about individual fundamental rights. And further:
Would it be conceivable to give people who get tested certain freedoms, as is the case in Israel with vaccination? Druml points out that a test cannot replace a vaccination, which offers full protection. A test is only a snapshot that is valid for a few hours.
However, in view of the fact that it will soon be the case (even within families) that some people are tested and others are not – such as children, for example – “free testing” is definitely a solution for Druml. “Here I must yes, if you want to do something together as a family, also offer other possibilities and here a so-called ‘Freitesten’ would probably be a way with which we can act very well in the near future.”
The Bioehtics Commission advises against making vaccinations mandatory across the board, or making them a requirement for jobs. The reason, it said, is that there is no data over longer years. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that every drug that is approved in the European Union naturally meets certain quality requirements, Druml explains.
Is it conceivable the other way around – for example, that “people who consciously refuse protection from the disease should also actually forego possible treatment?”, Mohr wanted to know from Druml.
At this point, however, the chairwoman described the need for much more information about vaccination to be disseminated to the outside world. So then also vaccination skeptics should be informed more precisely to be able to judge “what the exact sense of a vaccination is and what possibly is a potential disadvantage of the vaccination.” Everyone would need additional, better information – “at all levels.”
However, everyone should have the option to choose whether or not to be vaccinated, he said. Finally, Druml pointed out that vaccination is a privilege.
- sources: interview aired at puls4/heute.at/picture: pixabay.com
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