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A little boy and his teacher at the Fruehstart programme of the Hertie Foundation in Frankfurt, Germany. The programme enables children with parents of foreign origin to begin to learn German as early as possible so that they will not be disadvantaged when they begin school/ Photo: Hertie Stiftung

Germany: Law mandating vaccination of school children takes effect

The Measles Protection Act (Masernschutzgesetz) entered into force on 1 March. The law, which was passed on 14 November 2019, is intended to provide school, kindergarten and day care children with better protection against measles.

From the beginning of March, parents who want to have their child or ward admitted to a day care centre, kindergarten, school or other communal facilities must provide proof of measles vaccination.

People born after 1970 who work in communal or medical settings, such as nursery teachers, schoolteachers, day care workers and medical staff, must also be vaccinated against measles.

For children already attending a facility, proof of measles vaccination must be provided latest by 31 July 2021.

Photo: BMG

 

Parents face a fine of up to € 2,500 for violations. This fine can also be imposed, for example, on day care centres that admit children or tolerate personnel who have not been vaccinated.

Mandatory measles vaccination also applies to nursing staff, hospital and doctor’s office staff, as well as to all residents of asylum-seeker and refugee accommodations and those employed there. Asylum-seekers and refugees must have appropriate vaccination protection latest four weeks after being admitted to a communal accommodation.

Measles is a viral disease that is transmitted by droplet infection. It is a childhood disease, but can also occur in adolescents and adults, often with more severe courses. The disease is highly contagious and can cause pneumonia or brain inflammation and other complications and, in the worst case, can be fatal.

The new vaccination requirement is intended to achieve a vaccination rate of at least 95% of the population. This, according to the World Health Organisation, is necessary to completely eliminate measles.

A report by Germany’s centre for disease control and prevention, the Robert Koch Institute, has found that just 93% of children starting school have received both the first and second measles vaccines.

Children in Germany typically receive shots against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox.

Sola Jolaoso

More information about measles vaccination at: www.masernschutz.de

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