Measles vaccination: pros and cons arguments

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Measles vaccination: pros and cons, greens versus doctors

The number of measles diseases in Germany has increased since the beginning of the year. Federal Minister of Health Bahr had subsequently brought up a possible vaccination requirement and said in the Bild newspaper: "It is irresponsible if parents do not have their children vaccinated." A pros and cons for a measles vaccination compiled in the German Medical Journal:

Pro obligation to vaccinate The President of the Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ), Wolfram Hartmann, speaks to the German Medical Association for a compulsory vaccination.

Legal basis Wolfram Hartmann draws a comparison to the smallpox vaccination obligation that existed in Germany until 1976. Thanks to vaccination, smallpox has now been eradicated worldwide. The Infection Protection Act now also provides for a possible mandatory vaccination in Section 20, Paragraph 6. It states that the Federal Ministry of Health is authorized “to enact, by means of an ordinance with the consent of the Bundesrat, that threatened sections of the population have to take part in vaccinations or other specific prophylactic measures if a communicable disease occurs with clinically difficult forms and with its epidemic Spread is to be expected ”. It goes on to say that the fundamental right to physical integrity "can be limited".

Global measles eradication
Measles can often have serious consequences only years after an illness. An effective treatment of the virus infection is not possible. Worldwide, prophylaxis by means of a well-tolerated live vaccination is the scientific standard. The World Health Organization (WHO) is striving to eradicate measles worldwide and to achieve this, a vaccination rate of at least 95 percent of the population should be aimed at in order to achieve a so-called herd protection.

State duty of care Hartmann said: "All appeals to the parents to protect their children from this disease with fatal consequences time and time by complete and complete vaccination have so far not been sufficiently successful." ) "Proof of a complete vaccination before admission of a child to a state-funded care facility, so that even children are protected from infection who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons." If parents would not do everything possible to protect their children from dangerous diseases to protect, there is a state duty of care (Article 24 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). Other countries have shown that this is a successful method. The American double continent is said to be almost free of measles.

Contra obligation to vaccinate Birgitt Bender, health policy spokeswoman for the parliamentary group of Alliance 90 / The Greens, spoke out against the obligation to vaccinate against the German Medical Journal.

The right to self-determination has priority The politician believes that there is a good reason that there is no compulsory vaccination in Germany, even with infectious diseases with sometimes serious courses. According to Bender, the right of self-determination has priority, because vaccination is always and first and foremost a personal benefit-risk assessment. In this country, the right to self-determination is primarily determined by Art. 2 Para. 1 in conjunction with Art. 1 para. 1 Basic Law protected. This guarantees every person the right to "free development of their personality", "provided that they do not violate the rights of others and do not violate the constitutional order or the moral law" In the current case, an obligation to vaccinate would also come too late.

Vaccination rates increased enormously The Green Party spokeswoman said: “Vaccination rates (two vaccinations) for children to be enrolled increased from 19 to 92 percent between 2000 and 2010. A factual education about the individual and epidemiological advantages of a vaccination (without neglecting the possible side effects) will lead to a further increase in the willingness to vaccinate - that should speak a certain political serenity. “This could help if vaccination advice from your family doctor of trust would be conducted open to results. She also points to the weakening of the public health service, which primarily affects children, who would also be less well reached by the education system.

Hysteria and helplessness Demands for an obligation to vaccinate or even the exclusion of unvaccinated children from school or kindergarten would cause mistrust and a decreasing willingness to vaccinate. Ms. Bender also criticized: "And if even a liberal Federal Minister of Health brings such measures into play, it is a remarkable expression of hysteria and helplessness." The parents' vaccination decisions must be respected, however they turn out. It is also still unclear what effects, in addition to the possible acute side effects, vaccinations could have in the long term on the organism's own immune regulation. (ad)

Picture: Tony Hegewald /

Author and source information

Video: How vaccines train the immune system in ways no one expected. Christine Stabell Benn. TEDxAarhus

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