New measures against the spread of measles are being tested at the federal health ministry. Changes to the infection protection law are being considered, a ministry spokesman confirmed to dpa on sunday. Previously, the "spiegel" had reported on the deliberations.
Unvaccinated schoolchildren could be temporarily excluded from lessons in the event of an outbreak of the disease in their school. So far, this option is only available for sick children. Health authorities are also being considered for a requirement to check a child’s vaccination status when it is admitted to kindergarten. Currently this happens at the beginning of school. However, both mabassumptions could only be passed after the federal election.
The german medical association is calling for more extensive vaccination: "from a medical and scientific point of view, compulsory vaccination is the only sensible thing to do," says the president of the medical association, frank ulrich montgomery, in an interview with the news magazine. "Measles is a highly contagious disease with a high risk potential for the unvaccinated population. Therefore, it would be good if all children were vaccinated."
The increased outbreak of measles this year has alarmed health politicians across party lines. "If it turns out that the vaccination rate does not improve decisively within a year, we will have to think about making vaccination compulsory," vice chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group johannes singhammer told the "rheinische post" (saturday).
SPD health expert karl lauterbach joined the demand. The benefits of vaccination against measles far outweigh the possible risks of side effects, lauterbach told the newspaper. He is a physician himself.
According to a recent survey, there is a lot of support for mandatory vaccination: 80 percent of respondents were in favor of such a regulation, according to the health insurance company DAK-gesundheit, which commissioned the representative forsa survey.
The world health organization (WHO) has a firm goal of eradicating measles soon. Germany is not yet in an optimal position. In the first half of 2013 alone, more than 1070 cases were reported to the robert koch institute (RKI) in berlin, most of them in bavaria (478) and berlin (400).