Germany Makes Measles Vaccinations Compulsory For All Kids
The German government has announced new legislation which will make the measles vaccination of all children compulsory for parents.
From now on, parents will have to prove that their children have been vaccinated before they can attend school. If they haven't, then they can expect to pay hefty fines of up to €2,500 ($2,800) as punishment.
The decision has been made following a recent rise in reported cases of measles in Germany between March 2018 and February 2019. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 429 cases have been registered in Germany this year alone.
Currently, only 93 per cent of German children has been vaccinated for measles. At least 95 per cent need to go through measles jabs before the population can be effectively immunised.
In a statement issued to the public regarding the new legislation, Health Minister Jens Spahn said: "Whether in kindergarten, at the childminder or at school - we want to protect all children against measles infection."
Measles is a highly contagious airborne viral infection which very young children often suffer from. Symptoms typically develop after 10/12 days and last around a week. Symptoms usually include a fever, a cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes, as well as an angry red rash on the face.
According to a report from the World Health Organization, measles vaccines have resulted in an 80 per cent decrease in deaths as a result of the disease between 2000 and 2017. The same report claims that 85 per cent of children around the globe has now received their first dose as of 2017.
Furthermore, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study, vaccinations have had a profound effect on the death rate for measles. In 1980, there were 2.6 million reported measles-related deaths. By 1990, only 545,000 fatalities have been recorded, and by 2014, global vaccination had managed to reduce the number of deaths from measles to 73,000.