Cologne - In view of the dramatically high number of measles cases in Germany, Federal Health Minister Daniel Bahr (FDP) brought up possible vaccination requirement for children. "It is irresponsible if parents do not have their children vaccinated," Bahr told the Bild newspaper. A pros and cons to vaccination light.
Wolfram Hartmann: State duty of care
A vaccination requirement is not unknown in Germany. Until 1976 there was compulsory smallpox vaccination in Germany. Smallpox has now been eradicated worldwide thanks to vaccination. Even now, the Infection Protection Act in Section 20, Paragraph 6, provides for possible compulsory vaccination if the disease spreads.
Measles is viral infection with sometimes serious consequences, often only years after the disease . An effective treatment of the sick is not possible. The scientific standard worldwide is prophylaxis by means of well-tolerated live vaccination. In order to achieve the worldwide eradication of measles, which the WHO is also striving for, vaccination rate of at least 95 percent of the population should be aimed for, because this means that so-called herd protection can be achieved.
All appeals to parents to show their children Protecting this disease with repeatedly fatal consequences through timely and complete vaccination has so far not been sufficiently successful. The BVKJ therefore requires proof of complete vaccination before child is admitted to state-funded care facility, so that children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons are also protected from infection.
Here there is state duty of care (Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) if parents do not do everything to protect their children from dangerous diseases. Other countries have shown us that this is successful method, especially for measles.
Birgitt Bender: Right of self-determination has priority
We have good reasons in Germany No compulsory vaccination, even with infectious diseases with sometimes serious courses. The right to self-determination has priority, vaccination is always and first of all personal consideration of the benefits and risks. In addition, compulsory vaccination for the current measles outbreak would come too late.
The vaccination rates (two vaccinations) for children enrolled in school rose from 19 to 92 percent between 2000 and 2010. A factual explanation of the individual and epidemiological advantages of vaccination (without neglecting the possible side effects) will lead to further increase in vaccination readiness - that should speak for certain political calm. An open-ended vaccination consultation with trusted family doctor will help. The weakening of the public health service is doing us disservice here, by the way, which affects children in particular, who are also less well served by the education system.
The opposite of trust, namely mistrust and declining willingness to vaccinate, lead to demands for mandatory vaccination or even after the exclusion of unvaccinated children from school or kindergarten. And if liberal Federal Minister of Health brings such measures into play, then that is remarkable expression of hysteria and helplessness. Whatever the vaccination decisions (of the parents), they must be respected. After all, in addition to possible acute side effects, it is still unclear what effects vaccinations have on the organism's own immune regulation in the long term.