After the thrust of the Brandenburg state parliament, the Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) has spoken out in favor of vaccination against measles for children in daycare centers. Giffey told the editorial network Germany (RND, Saturday): “This is not a frivolous decision, but the result of careful consideration.” It's about protecting children from a life-threatening illness.
“A similar proposal soon”
“Government action is needed if the risk of endangering other children in kindergartens, schools or other facilities can not be controlled differently,” Giffey added. The responsible Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) has already held talks in the grand coalition about such a step. He wants to make a suggestion soon. At the end of March, SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach expressed his confidence that “we will soon be able to submit a corresponding proposal”.
Legally, a compulsion to measles vaccination should not be easy to enforce. The scientific service of the Bundestag already pointed to constitutional problems two years ago. However, the experts did not rule out the possibility of enforcing a duty to vaccinate certain diseases. For daycare children, this might still work, but it may be harder for school children.
Beyond the legal problem, the vaccination takes place in several steps and only then takes effect. Among other things, it is necessary to decide on the vaccine and whether there are triple or quadruple vaccinations. Measles are highly contagious and can be fatal in rare cases.
Vaccination as a mandatory requirement for the visit of daycare centers
In Brandenburg, there will be according to the will of the state parliament in the future a measles vaccination obligation for children in day care centers. The parliament had decided on Thursday evening by a broad majority a request of the red-red coalition factions as well as the CDU opposition. In the application, the provincial government is called upon to create the conditions for vaccination to be a binding prerequisite for the visit of day-care centers and day-care up to a federal solution. At the same time, the state government is to introduce a Federal Council initiative.
If that were the case, then it would go further than what the Federal Government had already adopted in the past legislative period with stricter rules. Since then, parents who want to send their children to day-care centers must, among other things, be able to demonstrate compulsory vaccination advice.
Nearly 100 measles cases in NRW since the beginning of the year
For countries, there is no single position for or against compulsory vaccination. North Rhine-Westphalia is currently examining. Family Minister Joachim Stamp (FDP) told the “Rheinische Post” (Saturday): “I am in favor of a general vaccination obligation – this also applies to kindergartens, as we will implement there, we will examine.” NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) said: “I am in favor of vaccination.” He expressly promised Spahn his support for his examination. Since the beginning of the year, according to the report, almost 100 measles cases have been counted in NRW.
After a measles outbreak in Schleswig-Holstein, the Hamburg CDU demands vaccination of all city employees who work with children. In addition, the visit of a kindergarten for children should only be possible with “immaculately proven vaccination status,” said the health spokeswoman, Birgit Stöver, the dpa. According to the Hamburg Senate, the vaccination rate is 93.5 percent. This is “not enough today to completely prevent infection, let alone completely eradicate the measles,” she said.
In Lower Saxony, Minister of Health Carola Reimann (SPD) rejects vaccination for the time being despite an increased number of measles cases. About this step should be discussed only if it comes in the long term to a worsening of the current situation, said the SPD politician of the dpa.
The Berlin Health Senator Dilek Kolat sees no further need to introduce measles vaccination for children. “In principle, I have nothing against compulsory vaccination, but we are now waiting for the bill at the federal level,” said the SPD politician. If the compulsory vaccination nationwide, Berlin put them around. With the vaccination rates at the school entrance examination Berlin is on “a good way”. Around 97 of the children would have received the first, almost 93 percent both measles vaccinations at the time. Berlin had to fight several times with major outbreaks.
Vaccination – a necessity?
The Hessian Minister of Health Kai Klose (Greens) wants to provide better education for higher vaccination rates. “In our view, vaccination is currently not proportionate and not necessary,” he told the dpa. It would be necessary to make the population, but also healthcare professionals and childcare staff more aware of the topic.
The Professional Association of Paediatricians in Hesse requires a mandatory vaccination before admission to a community facility. Saxony-Anhalt's doctors look the same. At least when visiting kindergartens and schools, a vaccination certificate should be available, said the Medical Association on Saturday after a chamber meeting in Freyburg / Unstrut.