Germany’s parliament has passed a law which will make measles vaccination for schoolchildren mandatory.
This measure was passed with a major majority and according to the new law, all children who’re in school or at a nursery, need to be vaccinated.
According to the new law, parents who can’t prove that their children have been vaccinated against measles by August, 2021 and those who refuse to vaccinate their children will be fined with up to 2500 Euros.
Jens Spahn, the Health Minister of Germany, claims that mandatory vaccination in this case is a must due to the increase in measles cases which is a highly contagious and possibly fatal illness.
Measles Vaccination Becomes Mandatory in Germany
Spahn further noted that measles was often underestimated and that vaccination is about protecting the weakest and the little ones who can’t be vaccinated until after the first year of life.
Hospital staff, teachers, day-care workers, and residents of refugee shelters will also need to be vaccinated after the law comes into force from March 2020. This year, Germany has recorder 501 cases of measles.
This law comes after a study concluded that Europeans are more likely than any other people in the world to believe in the myths saying vaccines are unsafe or ineffective.
According to the WHO, the continent has witnessed a major resurgence in measles infections and almost 90,000 diagnoses between January and June this year.
In 2017, the UK was declared free of measles; however, they’ve lost the status this year.
What about the Claims of a Connection between Vaccines & Autism?
This year, a major study done with more than 650,000 children disapproved the alleged claim of a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism.
This conspiracy was encouraged by a disgraced UK doctor.
According to health secretary of the UK, Matt Hancock, British ministers are considering compulsory vaccination for children attending state schools.
Parents Need to Be able to Bring their Own Decisions
After months of debating, the law didn’t pass without criticism. Dr. Steffen Rabe, paediatrician and member of the Doctors for individual decision-making on vaccinations believes that every parent needs to decide for themselves if they’re going to vaccinate their kids or not.
He quoted the right of bodily integrity and emphasized that this law is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and ineffective.
The German Association of Cities were also critical towards the new law and said that it will impact the legal right to a place for children in a kindergarten and the difficulty of finding an open spot which is an ongoing problem in Germany.