Statement by the German Federation of Аnthroposophic Мedicine (DAMiD) on COVID-19 vaccination
The situation in Germany is once again tense. The number of infections is high, vaccination rates are below expectation, in many places nurses and doctors are at their limit and many intensive care units are overburdened. To overcome this crisis together, respect and solidarity are needed, not moral pressure and blame.
Anthroposophic Medicine and Anthroposophy, in general, are repeatedly held responsible for low vaccination rates. In view of the 12,000 members of the anthroposophic society and the around 15 million unvaccinated people in Germany, this assignment of guilt is astonishing for quantitative reasons alone.
Manifold engagement against the pandemic
On the contrary: since their development, Anthroposophic Medicine has internationally welcomed the SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations as an essential tool to overcome the pandemic and in particular to protect risk groups.* “We are grateful that we have the vaccination,” stresses Dr. med. Stefan Schmidt-Troschke, pediatrician and board member of DAMiD. “We stand for a free decision without compulsory vaccination” he continues, “but freedom also includes responsibility. While COVID-19 vaccines primarily protect the individual, they help against overburdening the health system and protect other sick people. What concerns booster vaccinations, people who belong to risk groups should be the priority”. At the same time, Anthroposophic Medicine pointed out early on that vaccination only partially protects against the transmission of the virus, that the duration of protection is uncertain and that the virus won’t go away. Hence, healthy children require a sustainable concept that is different from the approach for the protection of risk groups.
Anthroposophic doctors have been actively participating in vaccination and booster campaigns in outpatient practices and hospitals for months. They also make a significant contribution to the out and inpatient care of COVID-19 patients, including intensive care.
In Anthroposophic Medicine, vaccination issues are not assessed historically. Nevertheless, some media and vaccination opponents refer to Rudolf Steiner, when in fact one can see a sometimes critical, but open and above all pragmatic attitude in Rudolf Steiner. He himself was not against vaccination – at the time the smallpox vaccination was ongoing – and also had himself vaccinated. In a lecture he said: “You just have to vaccinate. There is no other choice. Because fanatically opposing these things is what […] I would not recommend at all.” (Source: Rudolf Steiner, Physiology and Healthing, collected works 314, Rudolf Steiner Press 2013)
The statement can be accessed in German here.
The Federation of Anthroposophic Medicine in Germany represents Anthroposophic Medicine in all social areas of the German health care system. As an umbrella organization, DAMiD represents the interests of its 16 members. Member organizations are professional associations, clinic associations, non-profit care for the elderly, aid for the disabled and the manufacturers of anthroposophic medicines.