Law would make vaccination mandatory for children in schools and nurseries
'Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children against measles in Germany could be punished with fines of up to €2,500 (£2,130), according to a draft law presented by the health minister, Jens Spahn.
The law, which is set to come into effect from 1 March 2022 if it passes through parliament before the end of this year, would make vaccination against measles mandatory for all children attending nurseries and schools, as well as teachers, educators and medical staff at hospitals and surgeries.
By July 2020, parents signing up their children for kindergartens or schools would need to either provide evidence that their children have been vaccinated or proof of a medical condition that prevents their offspring from getting the jab.
According to estimates by the health ministry, the law would also affect about 361,000 non-vaccinated children already attending a school or kindergarten, as well as about 220,000 adults.
“All parents should be safe in the knowledge that their children cannot be infected with and endangered by measles,” Spahn said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
Governments worldwide have in recent months been forced into action by a rise in the number of measles cases and a growing trend towards “vaccination hesitancy”, driven partly by anti-vaccination scare campaigns. Germany’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, recorded 170 new cases of measles in the first two months of 2019 alone.
The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) is a particular focus of the “anti-vaxxer” movement. In 1998, the discredited physician Andrew Wakefield published fraudulent research in the Lancet that suggested the vaccine had a role in causing autism.'
Read more: German parents may face fine for refusing measles vaccination