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Germany passes compulsory measles vaccination law

Germany passes compulsory measles vaccination law

Germany passes compulsory measles vaccination law

It’s been under discussion for a while, but now it’s official: From March 2020 onwards, parents in Germany must have their children vaccinated against measles before they can enrol in daycare or school. Anyone who fails to comply faces a hefty fine. 

Federal Cabinet makes measles vaccinations compulsory

On Wednesday, July 17, Germany’s Federal Cabinet approved legislation for compulsory measles vaccination. As of March 2020, parents and guardians will have to prove that their children have been vaccinated before they can attend daycare or school. Compulsory vaccinations also apply to childminders and staff at daycare centres or community facilities such as refugee shelters. 

Unvaccinated children will not be accepted and, as it is illegal to homeschool your children in Germany, the new legislation essentially amounts to a countrywide vaccination obligation. Anyone who fails to have their children vaccinated could face fines of up to 2.500 euros. 

Unvaccinated children must get jabs

Children and staff who will already be attending daycare or school by the time the law comes into effect next March have until July 31, 2021, to prove that they have been vaccinated. 

This proof can be provided by a vaccination certificate, a yellow child examination booklet (Kinderuntersuchungsheft) or a medical certificate signed by your doctor, showing that your child has previously contracted measles.

Growing number of measles cases in Germany

Justifying the decision to introduce mandatory vaccinations, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said that the German government wants “to save as many children as possible from measles infections.” He hopes that the measure will bring Germany’s measles vaccination rate up to the 95 percent recommended by the World Health Organisation. 

The issue of compulsory vaccinations has long been under discussion in Germany, hastened on by the increasing number of measles outbreaks worldwide. Last year, 543 cases were reported in Germany and there have already been more than 400 confirmed cases in the first half of this year alone. Last year, 350.000 measles cases were reported worldwide, twice as many as in 2017. 

The law - which has so far received almost unanimous approval - now needs to be approved by the Bundestag before it can be put into action. 

Abi

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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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