Stepping up vaccination

Combating measles effectively

Measles is not a harmless childhood disease. It is a highly contagious viral disease. To effectively combat measles the German government has adopted a new Measles Protection Act, which has now been approved by the German Bundestag.

A doctor vaccinates a little boy.

Measles is highly contagious and can be fatal

Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In future, children and adults in communal facilities such as schools, nurseries and day care centres, as well as communal accommodation such as homes for asylum-seekers, must be inoculated against measles. Everyone working in facilities of this sort and employees in the medical sector will also be required to provide evidence that they have been vaccinated or have immunity against measles.

Children who are not inoculated can be banned from attending nursery. Parents sending children who have not been inoculated to communal facilities face a fine of up to 2,500 euros.

The new law is to come into force on 1 March 2020. Children already attending nurseries, schools or other communal facilities must provide evidence of inoculation by 13 July 2021. The same applies to employees working in communal and medical facilities, including hospitals and doctors’ practices. 

According to a report published by the Robert Koch Institute a total of 543 people contracted measles in Germany in 2018. At least 95 per of the population must be vaccinated to eradicate measles completely. Germany has not yet reached this level of coverage. The new law is to change that, increasing protection against measles through inoculation.

Measles can be fatal

Measles is highly contagious. It can be serious and possible complications include pneumonia and encephalitis. In the worst case scenario, measles can be fatal. Highly effective, safe vaccines are available that offer effective protection.

Closing vaccination gaps

The new regulations are designed to help close existing gaps in vaccination coverage in Germany. This will do much to raise the level of protection against measles for especially vulnerable people.

The Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) is also to be strengthened and is to provide regular and comprehensive information on vaccination. Find out about protection – now at www.impfen-info.de