Kindergartens must report parents for refusing vaccine advice under new law

Kindergartens must report parents for refusing vaccine advice under new law

Germany will pass a new law that will oblige kindergartens to report to authorities parents of children who fail to provide evidence that they have been given advice on vaccinating their kids, the country's health ministry revealed on Friday, May 26.

Parents refusing the advice risk fines of up to 2,500 euros ($2,800) under the law expected to come into force on June 1.

The anti-vaccine movement, mainly composed of well-intentioned, albeit scientifically-illiterate parents, is largely responsible for the worrying reduction in child vaccinations against diseases which were once almost eradicated in the Western World. But some politicians have suggested that mandatory vaccination is on the way if concerted efforts to encourage vaccinations don't work.

Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said it was necessary to tighten the law because of a measles epidemic.

German courts also recently ruled that a father could have his child vaccinated over the opposition of the mother.

Recently, Italian legislators cracked down on parents who have deliberately refused to vaccinate their children, and next month Germany is following suit with fines of up to EUR2,500 for parents who fail to ensure certain vaccinations are carried out at the appropriate time.

Germany has 410 cases of measles reported this year so far - a number already higher than 2016's total measles count, the Robert Koch Institute reported. Vaccinations for the virus have fallen off in Italy, with only 85 percent of children under the age of 2 receiving the vaccine, well below the World Health Organization's recommendation of 95 percent.

Lack of public trust in vaccines has become an important global health issue. Such theories include a long discredited connection between autism and the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. The author of that retracted study, Andrew Wakefield, was barred from practicing medicine in Britain in 2010, both on scientific and ethical grounds.

Some U.S. states have implemented stricter vaccine requirements for schoolchildren after some outbreaks spread among people who hadn't been vaccinated. Consequently, in recent years, many Western countries have seen a resurgence of diseases which were mostly eradicated, causing loss of life and creating a completely unnecessary healthcare panic.

Italy is also facing health issues, as it has recorded three times the number of measles cases in 2017 than past year.

Health experts are particularly concerned of measles because it is highly contagious.

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