Minister of Health against measles vaccination

Minister of Health against measles vaccination

Lower Saxony's Minister of Health against measles vaccination

For weeks now, there has been a mock debate in the media about the possible introduction of measles vaccination. Now the new Lower Saxony Minister of Health, Cornelia Rundt (SPD), has also intervened and has taken a clear position against such an obligation to vaccinate. Instead of compulsory measles, she relies on education and free offers, the news agency "dpa" quotes the minister's statement.

The debate about compulsory vaccination against measles began with reports of a sharp increase in the number of infections in some southern German regions. As a result, the Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr (FDP) allegedly indicated that he was compulsory for vaccination. A large number of media reports followed on the supposedly low vaccination rates and the imminent measles epidemic. But the Federal Minister of Health was obviously never in favor of vaccination, as can be seen from his subsequent position against it. In fact, those responsible obviously do not tend to make such excessive demands, even if some media reports suggest it. The Lower Saxony Minister of Health is completely in line with the federal government with her position.

Reason and insight instead of compulsory vaccination
The minister made it clear that "she is not relying on vaccination, but on reason and insight - especially among parents". However, in order to increase the pressure a little, it may make sense to regularly check the vaccination cards when visiting a doctor and to contact parents about possible vaccinations. So far, the situation in Lower Saxony has been much more relaxed than in the southern German federal states, where there has actually been a significant increase in reported measles diseases. In Lower Saxony, the number of reported cases is currently 14, Rundt reports. However, an increase may be expected here after the end of the summer vacation when vacationers return from the south.

Positive development of vaccination rates in Lower Saxony
Overall, the Minister of Health assessed the development of vaccination rates in Lower Saxony as very positive. Since 2002, the proportion of school leavers who have been vaccinated twice has increased from just over 30 percent to 92.9 percent in 2011. The country wants to further improve vaccination rates through additional information campaigns and the offer of free vaccinations for infants, children and adolescents up to the age of 18, reports the news agency "dpa", citing the minister. In contrast to the obligation to vaccinate, an offer on a voluntary basis without an authoritarian regulation from above. (fp)

Read also about measles:
Bahr wants to avoid measles vaccination
Measles vaccination: pros and cons arguments
Measles: High risk of fatal late effects
Measles outbreaks are piling up
Naturopaths have to report measles cases
Measles vaccination is often too late

Photo credit: Thomas Siepmann /

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