Measles: parents decide whether to vaccinate or not
Measles infections have increased significantly in the past year, especially in Bavaria. For parents, the difficult question is whether they should have their child vaccinated or not. A dispute rages between vaccine advocates and opponents.
The term teething minimizes the danger It usually starts with a runny nose and fever. Then the typical red skin spots form, first on the face and behind the ears and finally on the whole body. Measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases in the world. In the past year, the number of illnesses has increased sharply here too, especially in Bavaria. Measles does not only appear at a young age. The Bavarian DAK chief Gottfried Prehofer recently warned: "The term teething belittles the potential for danger."
Vaccination decision is up to parents Although measles has been an effective vaccine against the viral disease for 40 years, measles is still a major cause of death in children worldwide. In Germany, the decision as to whether a child is vaccinated or not lies solely with the parents, because there is no compulsory vaccination in Germany. For years, there has been a real battle between vaccine supporters and opponents. For some people, vaccination has also become a matter of attitude. According to a report in the "Mittelbayerische Zeitung", the Regensburg pediatrician László Hochschau said: "Some mothers do not want to vaccinate their children because they are afraid of serious side effects that can cause long-term damage." He said that vaccination was "a delicate matter." ”, For some it is a“ stimulus topic ”and for others“ a sacred cow ”.
Vaccination rate among school beginners at over 90 percent Many experts assume that the risk of suffering serious complications after measles vaccination is significantly lower than that of an actual infection. In addition, vaccine damage is very difficult to prove. Comprehensive advice from the doctor could be crucial. Vaccination is not just a purely individual matter, but also has an impact on the environment, because unvaccinated children live under the protection of the vaccinated boys and girls around them, as they reduce the risk of infection. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the measles vaccination rate among school beginners in Germany is more than 90 percent. From a quota of 95 percent, the infection routes are considered interrupted and the disease would be eradicated.
Vaccination also recommended for some adults The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) publishes its recommendations once a year in the “Epidemiological Bulletin” of the RKI. For example, the experts recommend a first measles vaccination, usually combined with a vaccination against mumps and rubella, for children between the ages of 11 and 14 months. In addition, vaccinations should be given at least four weeks later, but at the latest by the end of the second year of life. In addition, adults born after 1970 are advised to get vaccination if they have never had it done once or only if they do not know their vaccination status. Measles vaccination has been recommended by STIKO since 1974. (sb)
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