Germany fines parents who do not vaccinate children



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Illustration of vaccination.

Illustration of vaccination. |

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has proposed fines for parents of school-age children who have not been vaccinated against measles. Because, now there are concerns, this contagious and potentially fatal disease may come back again.

"I want to eradicate measles. Anyone who wants to go to school should be vaccinated against measles. Parents who do not vaccinate their children will face fines of up to 2,500 euros," Spahn said.

The minister also suggested that children without measles vaccines be banned from day care. The goal is to protect children who are still very small or medically unable to receive immunization against measles.

Compulsory medical procedures, such as vaccines, are a politically sensitive problem in Germany. So far there is no certainty that the proposal of Spahn, which has not been discussed by the Council of Ministers, will be carried out.

But there are concerns since this controlled disease reappeared as a major threat. Because the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reports that between March 2018 and February 2019 there were 651 reports of measles cases in Germany.

Experts also called for increased vaccination. The president of the German Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, welcomed Spahn's proposal. He said that this is "an important step at the right time".

In the first 10 weeks of 2019, there were 203 cases of measles in Germany. That number is more than double the same period last year, but less than in 2017.

These data differ from those of the World Health Organization (WHO), which states that the number of measles cases in Germany as of April 2019 is 155 cases. Since 2006, the majority of measles cases in 2015 have been 2383 cases.

Neighboring Germany, Switzerland, reported last week two adult measles deaths. A man in his 30s who was not vaccinated, another was in his 70s, whose immune system was affected by cancer.

Experts generally say that if more than 95% of the population is properly immunized, measles can not spread easily and be effectively maintained.

But unvaccinated children or adults can cause turbulence. As happened recently in the United States.

Measles cases in the US tend to increase from 2008 to April 2019. The outbreak can not be stopped in the country of Donald Trump.

Significant increase occurred in 2014, with 71.9 percent or 668 cases in relation to the previous year. Meanwhile, in April 2019, there were 387 cases.

Germany is not the first to propose fines for parents of unvaccinated children. Last month, New York said that those living in an out-of-the-box environment who had not received vaccines or had no evidence of immunity could be fined $ 1,000.

According to the WHO, in 2018 there were 82,596 cases of measles and 72 measles deaths across Europe. Most infections – 53,218 cases – were reported in Ukraine, where armed conflict with separatists disrupted medical care in the eastern region.

According to the ECDC, popular European tourist destinations such as Italy also recorded more than 2,400 cases of measles from March 2018 to February 2019. In Greece, there were more than 1,400 cases of measles, while the United Kingdom recorded more than 900 during this period.

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