Germany's compulsory measles vaccine law finally comes into effect
After being twice postponed, the transitional period for Germany’s new compulsory measles vaccination law will come to an end on Sunday. All parents will now be asked to prove to daycare centres and primary and secondary schools that their children are vaccinated against measles.
Measles vaccination law transition period ends in July 2022
The final introduction of the measles vaccination requirement has been postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is now finally coming into effect without exceptions. Proof of a measles vaccination has been required since March 1, 2020, for children just joining school or attending childcare for the first time, but a transitional period was put in place for anyone who was already attending before that date.
This transitional period ends on July 31, 2022, meaning that all children in childcare facilities, people in refugee accommodation, and workers in certain other settings like doctors’ offices and hospitals must now be able to prove that they are vaccinated against measles.
Unvaccinated children may be excluded from attending daycare, but this is not possible in schools because school attendance is compulsory in Germany. In these cases the parents risk a substantial fine.
Measles cases fell significantly during coronavirus lockdowns
Measles is a very contagious infectious disease that can result in serious complications, especially among small children. Since some parents have refused the vaccination for their children, it has been impossible to permanently contain or eliminate the disease, resulting in the German government’s decision to make the vaccine compulsory.
In 2019, 516 cases of measles were reported to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), down from 545 the year before and a high of 2.465 in 2015. In 2020 and 2021, coronavirus lockdowns and the closure of schools significantly reduced measles infection rates, with just 10 cases reported to the RKI last year.