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Measles vaccination becomes compulsory in German law

Parents in Germany face a fine of up to £2,130 (€2,500) if they do not vaccinate their children against measles, following a new law that was passed by the German Government.

The new law prohibits parents from enrolling their children in school if they are not vaccinated against measles, with parents having to prove that their children have been vaccinated from March 2020 onwards.

The law applies to both children and staff that attend daycare centres or school when the law comes into effect on 1 March 2020 have until 31 July 2021 to provide proof of vaccinations.

This means that teachers, childminders, daycare centre staff, those who work and volunteer at community facilities and refugee shelters will also need to provide proof of vaccinations or face significant fines.

Vaccinations can be proven by providing either a yellow child examination booklet, a vaccination certificate, or a medical certificate that is signed by a doctor which states that the individual has already contracted measles.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has stated that the law was designed to protect the most vulnerable from measles, which is highly contagious. Germany has stated its intention to increase its measles vaccination rate to 95 per cent in order to reach the World Health Organisation’s recommended level to achieve total population protection.

Germany has fallen below that level in recent years, with just 93 coverage for measles vaccinations.

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is associated with anti-vaccination movements, with discredited research suggesting that the vaccine could cause autism.

Measles can cause fatal complications, with babies and children being especially vulnerable to serious problems as a result of the disease.

Healthcare International provides comprehensive medical insurance for expatriates living in Germany, or any other country. Members have access to an international network of 300,000 medical professionals working in more than 8,000 hospitals and medical centres. All but the emergency-only plans include money to cover vaccinations.