Health minister bahr wants to look into compulsory vaccination

Health Minister Daniel Bahr to have options for mandatory measles vaccination reviewed. In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of children and adults suffering from measles. In the current year, there have already been 1.070 infections reported. Most of them in Bavaria (478) and Berlin (400). In 2012, there were only 150. Measles is highly contagious and can also lead to death.

Health minister now reviewing whether unvaccinated children could also be excluded from classes if needed. Up to now, this regulation has only applied to children who have fallen ill. Furthermore, vaccination testing should be done by health departments before kindergarten enrollment, rather than at school enrollment.

If the vaccination rate does not improve within a year, the introduction of compulsory vaccination must be considered, vice chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group Johannes Singhammer (CSU) told the Rheinische Post newspaper. SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach takes a similar view: the benefits of vaccination against measles far outweigh the possible risks and side effects, the SZ reports.

Harmless side effects include redness, pain and swelling. However, these are due to the injection, but not the active ingredient (MMR). Other side effects can occur in the form of allergic reactions or respiratory diseases. But here, too, the disease may have other causes than the effect of the vaccine.

Directly related to the active ingredient is the illness of vaccine measles, which can occur in five percent of cases and up to ten days after vaccination. However, in this case, the symptoms usually appear in a weakened form.

Because of these side effects, some parents doubt the necessity of vaccination. On the one hand, young parents want to check alternative medical methods, on the other hand, there is skepticism about the pharmaceutical industry or a lack of trust in state institutions and so-called conventional medicine.

This is why there are always minor epidemics in Germany. And this despite the fact that measles has been eradicated in Finland and even in almost all of Africa. To achieve this in Germany, 95 percent of Germans would have to be vaccinated. Currently, only one in three children is vaccinated against measles. That is still a long way off.

However, the responsibility for vaccinating children still lies with the parents. Parents cannot be forced. "Should parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated be jailed??" This is "nonsense", said the FDP chairman of the health committee Josef Ackermann. The voluntariness must remain ensured.

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