Joint press release by the Senate Chancellery for Higher Education and Research and the State Conference of the Rectors and Presidents of the Higher Education Institutions in Berlin
The Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Higher Education and Research, Michael Müller, has addressed an urgent appeal to the roughly 200,000 students in the capital to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. In a letter to the students, Müller acknowledges their contribution thus far to overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and calls on all students who are not yet vaccinated to not lose any time and to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities in Berlin for receiving a vaccination against the coronavirus.
Prof. Dr-Ing. Dr Sabine Kunst, chairwoman of the Berlin State Conference of Rectors and Presidents and president of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, is also supporting this appeal. The Berlin universities and colleges are emphatically making the case for their students and employees to be willing to get vaccinated and are also providing their own vaccination offers for this. Achieving the highest possible vaccination rate amongst university members is an important basis for enabling a return to campus after three semesters of online study.
As the first federal state to do so, Berlin had already started additional targeted vaccination campaigns for students in as early as mid-June, thereby further supporting the vaccination offers provided by university health services that had been running since the prioritisation was lifted. According to the Berlin guideline paper for the 2021/2022 winter semester, the universities are planning to conduct their teaching and learning activities in person again. In the winter semester, around 200,000 students are once again expected at the state, denominational and private universities and colleges in Berlin.
Michael Müller appeals to the students in his letter:
"Please get vaccinated against the coronavirus if you haven’t already, and if you’ve had a first dose, please get the second so that you’re fully protected. Only that will make the vaccine as effective as possible. We are at a decisive moment in the pandemic: right now, we need to reach a high level of vaccination coverage as quickly as possible. The experts, too, are saying that every additional fully vaccinated person counts if we are going to contain the fourth wave of the coronavirus. By spending three semesters almost entirely online and sacrificing a lot of what makes up student life, you have contributed enormously, under difficult circumstances, to dealing with this crisis ever since the outbreak of the pandemic. That contribution deserves great respect, and I would like to thank you for that again today. Together with our colleges and universities and many dedicated professors, we are doing everything we can to ensure that in-person teaching and learning will be possible and safe again in Berlin during the winter semester. A high vaccination rate will pave the way for that. And that’s why I’m urgently appealing to those of you who have not yet been vaccinated: please take advantage of one of the many locations available in our city - whether it’s a vaccination centre (with or without an appointment), a doctor’s office, the university vaccination sites, or one of the mobile vaccination units. Getting vaccinated will protect you and others, and it will also help make it possible for you to go back to campus for the upcoming winter semester."
As chairwoman of the State Conference of the Rectors and Presidents of the Higher Education Institutions in Berlin, Prof. Dr-Ing. Dr Sabine Kunst, president of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, reinforces the appeal of the Governing Mayor and Senator for Higher Education and Research: "The universities and colleges will do their utmost to ensure that in-person activities on campus will finally be possible again in the upcoming semester - despite dynamically changing basic conditions. It is crucial that the students see their universities from the inside again. In order for this to be able to happen, we ask the students, in our capacities as heads of the universities and colleges, to make their contribution to achieving the highest possible vaccination rate."
- Overview of Berlin practices offering COVID-19 vaccination for non-existing patients (as of July 16, 2021)