Here's What Germany Wants to Do to Parents Who Don't Vaccinate Their Kids

May 26th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

In an effort to boost falling vaccination rates, the German government has put forth a new measure that will require kindergartens to report parents who don't vaccinate their children.

California Vaccines Bill

As it stands, German authorities can already fine parents who don't attend mandatory vaccination consultations up to $2,800, but as the Associated Press reported, it has been difficult to keep track of which families have not been attending these sessions. Parliament will vote on the measure next week.

The proposed measure comes on the heels of a recent court decision which further emphasized the government's stance on vaccination, when the German Supreme Court ruled on behalf of a father who wanted to get his child vaccinated, despite objections from the child's mother. As Reuters reported, the ruling was guided by the suggestions of the German Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) which said, "there was no evidence that [vaccinations] posed an unusual risk to the child."

People on Twitter had mixed reactions about the proposed requirements. 







As U.S. News reported, Germany has seen 410 measles cases this year, already more than in all of 2016 and vaccination regulations across Europe have tightened after officials have seen increase in outbreaks. The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention pointed to a lack of access and money as the main reasons for low vaccination rates in developing nations, but it's more complicated in wealthy countries like Germany. 

As the Center's fact sheet explained, "These factors are complex; false beliefs, ignorance, lack of advocacy are often on the basis of the failure of vaccination strategies."

Misinformation about vaccines has contributed to measles outbreaks in the U.S.

Minnesota is currently engulfed in its worst measles outbreak in 30 years, with 58 reported cases since April. Again, false information about vaccination has been a major factor.

As Vox reported, "Most of the cases are occurring among unvaccinated Somali-American children in Minneapolis, whose parents have been the targets of anti-vaccine propagandists, according to the state health department." Andrew Wakefield—who lost his medical license due to his anti-vaccination proselytizing—has been highlighted as a chief culprit in the spread of misinformation in the state, having run a public campaign of lectures and outreach in Minnesota in recent years. 

Dr. Matthew Zahn, the chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's Public Health Committee, told ATTN: that misinformation makes, what should be a simple decision to vaccinate, complicated and emotional. 

"As a pediatrician I talk with families who struggle with these decisions to vaccinate and the struggle is based on misinformation or nonsense information, purveyed by Dr. Wakefield and others," he said in an interview published May 9. "It's a false concern but it becomes very hard for people to sort through, even though we know the Measles vaccine does not cause autism." 

RELATED: The Vaccination Problem That is Costing Us Billions