German minister proposes hefty fines for "anti-vaxxer" parents

German minister proposes hefty fines for "anti-vaxxer" parents

German minister proposes hefty fines for "anti-vaxxer" parents

In the future, parents in Germany who fail to get their children vaccinated could find themselves slapped with a hefty fine or even a kindergarten ban. That’s if a new proposal put forward by Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, goes forward.

Sanctions in Germany for parents of unvaccinated children

Despite the European Commission’s recent call to push for vaccine education rather than coercion, Germany’s health authorities are considering a tougher approach. As well as making vaccinations mandatory for employees in hospitals and private medical practices, the new proposal is calling for harsher measures against parents who fail to vaccinate their children.

If approved by the cabinet, the proposal would give kindergartens the power to refuse unvaccinated children. By July 2020, any parents wishing to enrol their children would have to present proof of vaccinations, signed by a doctor.

Germany’s law on compulsory schooling makes it impossible for a similar measure to be introduced in Germany’s primary and secondary schools. However, the proposal calls for the parents of older unvaccinated children to be handed hefty fines of up to 2.500 euros instead.

Mission to “eradicate” measles in Germany

When introducing the proposal, Spahn said that firm action was needed in order to push parents to vaccinate their children and to “eradicate measles” in Germany. Currently, the vaccination rate in Germany is around 93 percent, which falls short of the 95 percent required to protect those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons.

While the discovery of the measles vaccine several decades ago brought the number of measles cases in Germany down to nearly zero, the gradual spread of “anti-vax” beliefs is threatening to undo the progress already made. Incidences of measles outbreaks are increasing worldwide, with more than 136.000 fatalities last year alone. In the first two months of 2019, 170 confirmed cases of measles were registered in Germany.



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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Jaap Barug 18:49 | 8 May 2019

Do anti vaccers agree that driving after using a lot of alcohol should be tolerated because forbidding would be an unacceptable intervention in personal privacy. A lot of people do really think the use of alcohol gives them the skills of an F-1 driver. As far as I can see anti vaccers do believe in theories because they are published on internet