Measles vaccination mandatory for everyone? RKI president against it

Measles vaccination mandatory for everyone? RKI president against it

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Measles vaccination mandatory for everyone? - RKI president is against it

For months, there has been a discussion about legal vaccination, especially due to the severe measles wave in Berlin. Only recently, Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe once again threatened to have measles vaccinated. The president of the Robert Koch Institute is against a permanent measles vaccination.

RKI President against permanent measles vaccination For months, Berlin has had a severe measles wave under control. More than 1,000 people have been infected in the capital since October 2014, including many adults. Cases of illness were also reported from other federal states. 150 cases have already been registered in Saxony, at least 80 cases in Thuringia, particularly in Erfurt and 75 in Bavaria. Experts consider the low vaccination rate to be the main cause. This is also a reason why there has been a fierce debate about mandatory vaccination for months. Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe (CDU) recently threatened to be forced to vaccinate against measles. However, the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, has spoken out against a permanent measles vaccination requirement, according to a report by the dpa news agency.

Encouraging voluntary vaccinations Wieler said to the Dortmund-based “Ruhr Nachrichten”: “There may be situations in which people think about something like this in terms of time and space.” Encouraging voluntary vaccinations would make much more sense in the long term. "We have to motivate people to vaccinate and approach the population more actively, especially young people and young adults, who rarely go to the doctor." Germany has insufficient measles vaccination rates, especially for young adults. "We are far from achieving the goals of the World Health Organization," said Wieler. "In Germany there were 20 times as many new infections last year as the plans for a gradual eradication of the disease."

Mandatory vaccination advice before going to kindergarten Minister of Health Gröhe had made it clear that compulsory vaccination is not taboo. He said to the dpa: "We will discuss these questions carefully but consistently in the context of the parliamentary deliberations on the Prevention Act that are now pending and then decide." The law initially provides for compulsory vaccination counseling before visiting a daycare center. In addition, the vaccination status should be queried for each examination. Gröhe explained that those who refuse to vaccinate their child without medical need harm not only their own child, but also other children.

Do not dismiss measles as a childhood disease Health experts repeatedly warn against dismissing measles as a harmless childhood disease. Not only children, but also adults could become seriously ill if they were infected with the virus. Usually, a disease begins with fever, conjunctivitis, runny nose and cough. Due to the weakened immune system, an infection can also lead to complications such as otitis media or pneumonia and in some cases also have life-threatening consequences such as meningitis. According to the WHO, a stable vaccination rate of 95 percent of the population would be required to eliminate the infectious disease. Germany is still a long way from this goal. (ad)

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