Too few children receive measles vaccination Health Minister criticized the vaccine opponents

Too few children receive measles vaccination Health Minister criticized the vaccine opponents / Health News

European Immunization Week: German health minister criticizes vaccine opponents

In contrast to many other European countries there is no compulsory vaccination in Germany. According to surveys, a large part of the population would welcome such a measure, but many health experts prefer to rely on education instead of vaccination. Also in the context of the now starting European Impfwochen is informed about the use of vaccinations. The German Minister of Health criticizes vaccine opponents.

Measles can be difficult

Just a few months ago, health experts pointed to the growing number of measles cases in Germany. The disease is still dismissed by some people as a harmless childhood disease. But the highly contagious disease also affects adults and can take a very serious course with serious health consequences and in rare cases even fatal. The best protection against the disease is the measles vaccine. But still many people in Germany do not have sufficient vaccine protection. This is the result of a joint press release by the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

In Germany too few people are vaccinated against measles. This is what health experts point out at the European Immunization Weeks. The German Minister of Health criticizes vaccine opponents. (Image: sharryfoto /

Effective protection against infectious diseases

"Vaccinations are among the most effective measures to prevent infectious diseases," writes the BMG on its website.

"Vaccines not only have an effect on the vaccinated people themselves, but can also indirectly protect unvaccinated people from a disease, as they stop or reduce the spread of an infectious disease," it continues.

But despite stricter laws are still too few children vaccinated against measles. This is clear from the new vaccination quotas for new school children presented by the RKI on the occasion of the European Immunization Week.

Thus, in 2016, for the first time, all federal states achieved the vaccination rate of 95 percent for the first measles vaccine. In the decisive second measles vaccine, however, the nationwide vaccination rate rose only slightly to 92.9 percent.

Federal Health Minister criticizes vaccine opponents

"It is irresponsible not to have children vaccinated against measles or to accept their own picking," criticizes Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn.

"We need nationwide a vaccination rate of 95 percent for the second vaccination, so that this infectious virus disease is eradicated," said the politician.

"The medical profession, schools, kindergartens, companies, authorities and, of course, parents need to work together even better. No one has to get measles or even die today. "

Significant increase in measles disease

According to the statement, a total of 929 measles cases were reported to the RKI in 2017, nearly three times more than the 325 illnesses in 2016. For the first 12 weeks of this year, 92 cases were reported to the RKI.

"An infection with measles viruses is by no means harmless. About a quarter of the reported cases have to be treated in the hospital. On average, we see three to seven deaths a year due to measles or the measles disease SSPE, "says LK Hieler, President of the RKI.

Often too late vaccination, as the interactive online map "VacMap" illustrates. It can be used to retrieve measles vaccination quotas, for example, at the age of 15 and 24 months.

These are the age groups in which a child should have received the first or second vaccination. Only 24 percent of the birth year 2014 children were vaccinated twice, only slightly more than the 2013 vintage.

The quotas for the timely vaccination are also available for all urban and rural districts. Recently vaccine quotas for rotavirus vaccine vaccination can be obtained from "VacMap".

Often, but not often enough, vaccinations are made up to the beginning of school. In addition to the measles vaccine quotas, the vaccine quotas for chickenpox and meningococci have also risen slightly among new school children.

All other vaccination rates, such as diphtheria and tetanus, have fallen slightly.

Attitude to vaccination has improved

Dr. Heidrun Thaiss, head of the BZgA, explains: "Despite existing picking in the population, the attitude towards vaccination has noticeably improved. Only five percent of the surveyed 16- to 85-year-olds have a (rather) negative attitude, as the results of the nationwide representative survey of the Federal Center for Health Education show. "

And further: "We are basically on the right path, but a consistent and targeted vaccination is still necessary. Because who is vaccinated, protects not only yourself, but also the community. "

The BZgA offers comprehensive information about measles vaccination and regularly calls for a vaccination check.

On the occasion of the European Immunization Week, she provides a new explanatory video with tips for low-stress and low-pain vaccination.

The video is based on current recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO).

Regulations to improve vaccination protection

For example, according to the press release, since mid-2015, regulations on how to improve vaccination protection include using all routine health examinations in children and adults to check vaccination status.

Also company doctors can make vaccinations. Unvaccinated children and adolescents may be temporarily excluded from attending a day care center or school to prevent outbreaks of disease.

Parents must have a compulsory medical vaccination consultation before their child's daycare. Daycare centers must notify families who deny vaccination advice to the health department. These can impose fines in stubborn cases. (Ad)