While the Germans are enjoying the early summer and only the occasional mask requirement is reminiscent of the collective trauma of the last two winters, the Federal Constitutional Court remains Lauterbachesk in pandemic panic mode and is waving through the facility-related compulsory vaccination.

The court had “no far-reaching constitutional concerns” when it issued its urgent decision in February. The 85-page decision on the main issue deals with the allegations of the complainants in surprising detail, but comes to the foreseeable conclusion on every point:

Once again, the court grants Parliament a wide margin of appreciation and limits itself to examining whether the assumptions made by the legislature were “reasonable” at the time of adoption and were not “shaken” afterwards by new developments or better knowledge.

At least in public perception, a lot has changed since the beginning of December 2021, when Germany was still in the middle of a devastating delta wave and omicron had only just been discovered. But Karlsruhe is unable to see any relevant easing of the pandemic risk situation.

It is becoming clear that the Federal Constitutional Court sees few alternatives to a general obligation to vaccinate that offers “maximum protection”: With masks and rapid tests, the performance of which as a component of combating a pandemic must now be assessed differently due to their susceptibility to errors, there is a risk of deliberately or unconsciously being defective Application.

There is a lack of capacity for regular PCR tests and the time, organizational and financial effort is too high. It is still scientifically unclear how long the immunity lasts after recovery. In the case of a vaccination, on the other hand, the state can assume that it offers “relevant protection” against infection – at least in triplicate and for a limited period of time.

In doing so, the court ignores the fact that all the findings of the last few months indicate that the effectiveness of the booster vaccinations will also decrease month by month.

The judges do not share the complainants’ fear of serious side effects: Since the safety reports of the Paul Ehrlich Institute already include mere suspected cases, the side effects are more likely to be over-reported than under-reported. In addition, the vaccination recommendations would be constantly adjusted accordingly.

The utilitarian conclusion: “The very low probability of serious consequences of vaccination is offset by the significantly higher probability of damage to life and limb of vulnerable people.”

With the main decision made in the record time of three months (for comparison: the measles vaccination has been compulsory in Karlsruhe for more than two years), the Federal Constitutional Court is ahead of the Federal Administrative Court, which is currently dealing with the soldier’s vaccination requirement.

The latter had probably seen enough clarification that it had only recently scheduled two further negotiation dates. But there probably isn’t much room left now. Just this week, several federal states have already started a new push for compulsory vaccination for those over 60.