Measles vaccinations are now compulsory in Germany
A law that prohibits parents in Germany from enrolling their children in childcare or school unless they are vaccinated against measles has just been passed by the Bundestag. Anyone who fails to comply runs the risk of being slapped with a hefty fine.
Compulsory measles vaccination enters German law
Passing with a substantial majority in the Bundestag, the compulsory measles vaccination law yesterday cleared its final hurdle. It provides for the exclusion of unvaccinated children from daycare centres and makes fines of up to 2.500 euros payable in the event of violations.
From March 2020 onwards, therefore, all parents and guardians will have to prove that their children have been vaccinated against measles before they can attend daycare or school in Germany. The compulsory vaccination law will also apply to childminders and staff at daycare centres, community facilities and refugee shelters.
Children and staff must prove they are vaccinated
Children and staff who are already attending daycare or school when the law comes into effect on March 1, 2020, will have until July 31, 2021, to obtain proof that they have been vaccinated. The only exception applies to children aged under one year, and people who cannot tolerate vaccines for medical reasons.
Vaccinations can be proven with a vaccination certificate, a yellow child examination booklet (Kinderuntersuchungsheft) or a medical certificate signed by a doctor showing that the patient in question has already contracted measles.
“Measles protection is child protection”
Defending the vaccination law against criticism, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said, “Measles protection is child protection.” He contended that the law was designed to protect the most vulnerable from the highly contagious disease. He has previously outlined his intention to bring the measles vaccination rate in Germany up to the 95 percent recommended by the World Health Organisation to achieve total population protection.
Last year, 543 cases of measles were reported in Germany; a further 400 cases have already been confirmed in the first half of 2019 alone.