Minister of Health for Vaccination Obligation in Children

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Will measles vaccination be mandatory for children?

More and more measles diseases. The health authorities in Germany sound the alarm - the reason: more and more people are suffering from measles. According to the “Deutschlandfunk”, 220 cases of measles are currently registered in Munich alone, and more than half of the patients are already hospitalized. But the increasing number of measles diseases would not have to be - because the dangerous and highly contagious infectious disease could be prevented by vaccination from the twelfth month of life.

Rising numbers due to non-vaccinated children
More and more people in Germany are suffering from the so-called “childhood disease” measles, a highly contagious infectious disease that does not necessarily only affect children, but in many cases adolescents or adults. Nevertheless, experts attribute the currently increasing incidence of measles in Germany to the fact that quite a few parents refuse or have their children vaccinated. Accordingly, according to the Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr (FDP), a possible vaccination requirement for children may now be necessary - because, as the minister told the BILD newspaper, it is “irresponsible if parents do not have their children vaccinated. Measles is de facto eradicated in Scandinavia and the USA, but our vaccination rate is not high enough. If it stays that way, the discussion about a mandatory vaccination will come. "

Immune system weakening is particularly dangerous in measles
In the case of measles disease, symptoms such as the well-known red rash, but also fever, cough, runny nose and inflammation of the mucous membranes typically occur. However, according to the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, this would not be the biggest problem, because the real danger is a weakening of the immune system, which can last up to six weeks after infection with the measles virus and can trigger bacterial infections such as bronchitis or otitis media. Brain infections caused by measles (measles encephalitis) are also particularly dangerous, which, according to the Berlin Robert Koch Institute, occurs in around one in 1,000 children who develop measles and often leads to permanent brain damage or even fatal outcome. In even rarer cases, measles disease can also lead to a certain form of late complication, the so-called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), which only gradually occurs months or years after the infection and ultimately leads to death after disorders and failures in the nervous system .

Measles is one of the most common infectious diseases in developing countries
The measles virus is found worldwide, but the frequency of the disease varies greatly and is particularly high in developing countries, where local measles epidemics with high disease and mortality rates are frequent and measles are among the most common infectious diseases. In Germany, the incidence of measles has declined significantly as a result of the possibility of vaccination, which has existed for around 40 years - but there are still local outbreaks in Germany, such as in 2006, when around 1,100 people had measles in North Rhine-Westphalia within ten weeks fell ill and 160 of them had to be hospitalized.

Expert from the professional association of pediatricians warns against trivialization
Accordingly, for pediatrician Ulrich Fegeler from the professional association of pediatricians there is no alternative with regard to vaccination, because “measles are in fact not a harmless childhood disease, not a disease with a little fever and dots. Measles is one of the most serious early childhood diseases that we know, and God knows that these measles are not completely harmless in most cases, ”said the doctor in an interview with the radio station“ Deutschlandfunk ”. According to Fegeler, "[...] there are different numbers as to how many of these measles have serious complications such as brain inflammation or even death", but it can still be assumed that "a serious infection of the child with brain inflammation and." permanent damage [...] occurs about every 500 to a thousand measles infections. So we have a serious illness. "

Increase in allergies due to vaccination? However, while experts like Fegeler are clearly in favor of comprehensive vaccination protection for children, critical voices such as the "Parents' Interest Group for Vaccine Education (EFI)" counter with, among other things, an unpredictable risk of side effects, since vaccine damage and side effects after vaccines are not subject to mandatory reporting. The additives and residues from vaccine production are also considered "questionable", "[...] especially since they are injected directly bypassing the natural defense mechanisms (residues of chicken protein, phenol compounds, antibiotics, etc.). The increase in allergies (including asthma) in vaccinated children is likely to be due to this, "continued Angelika Kögel-Schauz from EFI. (Nr)

Photo credit: Andreas Morlok /

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