Berlin - One in five adults in Germany is not vaccinated against measles. According to this, 21 percent have no vaccination against the virus, 12 percent do not know whether they have been immunized. This was the result of representative online survey carried out by the opinion research institute on behalf of the dpa news agency. The survey did not record whether the interviewees had already had measles. After measles infection, you are usually immune to the virus.
The disease has only been notifiable since 2001, so there is no reporting data for previous periods. The registered cases vary greatly from year to year: According to statistics, there were around 6,037 sick people in 2001, last year only 165 cases were registered. In 2013, however, the numbers shot up again: According to current estimate by the Berlin (RKI), 1,207 people had already contracted measles on July 14th this year. Expert estimates assume that the numbers in the past century were many times higher.
The pollsters polled on July 12-15 total of 1051 citizens aged 18 and over. Only 67 percent of those interviewed said they were vaccinated against measles. To eradicate the disease, however, quotas of over 95 percent are necessary worldwide. The WHO has made this goal priority until 2015. Immunization has been one of the recommendations of the Standing Vaccination Commission in Germany since 1973.
This is currently checking how the The spread of measles can be reduced. In Erftstadt near Cologne, Waldorf school recently had to remain closed after more than ten students there contracted measles. Only quarter of the students could prove vaccination protection. In the first half of 2013 alone, more than 1,070 cases were reported to the RKI, the majority of them in Bavaria (478) and Berlin (400).
Measles is one of the most contagious diseases of all. Serious complications are rare, but they do exist. In June, 14-year-old died of the long-term effects of an infection. He was infected with measles as baby in waiting room because an unvaccinated toddler carried the disease on. A girl also died years later from this waiting room infection.
According to the results of the survey, clear majority of 76 percent of those questioned are in favor of compulsory vaccination against certain diseases throughout Germany. Medical representatives and politicians recently brought up mandatory vaccinations, including Federal Health Minister Daniel Bahr (FDP).In addition, the Ministry of Health is considering excluding non-vaccinated students from classes in the future if measles outbreak occurs in their school. So far, this has only been possible with children who are already sick.
Doctors recommend vaccinating children up to the age of 23 against measles twice so that the protection works reliably. Around ten percent of the 524 parents surveyed have said that they have failed to do this so far. The reasons for this are
different: In the past, double vaccinations were unusual, and paediatricians did not recommend or even advise against it. However, some of the respondents stated that they were “anti-vaccinations” and that they consider vaccinations to be “one of the many misconceptions in our science”. “For me it is considered childhood disease that you can and must go through,” was another reason for not having double measles vaccination.
For more than three quarters of the interviewees, measles is not harmless childhood disease. The systematic vaccination is handled differently in practice: According to the survey, 82.3 percent have vaccination certificate, 15.3 percent do without the document. 2.4 percent don't know.