Mandatory measles vaccination is legal, German judge says


Central Europe


A German child receives his measles vaccination. Photo EPA, Sascha Steinbach

Daycares, schools and medical facilities must require the attending children to be vaccinated against measles. The judges of the Federal Constitutional Court in the German town of Karlsruhe decided that this requirement is justifiable and thus remains in force.

The judges acknowledged that mandatory vaccination limits fundamental rights and freedoms. However, they judged these violations to be reasonable to protect vulnerable people. That is reported by PRO.

The compulsory vaccination came into force on March 1, 2020. From that time on, children from the age of one had to be refused from entering daycares if they were not immune to measles by vaccination or an infection. Students have to be vaccinated too, but they cannot be refused entrance to schools, as they are obliged to attend classes. Instead, parents are fined up to 2500 euros, as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports. Children already attending a daycare or school when the law came into force had until July 31 to submit proof of immunisation.

Four pairs of parents complained about the new regulation. They argued that compulsory vaccination is a disproportionate encroachment on the fundamental right to physical integrity and the right to bring up children. However, their complaints were now rejected by the judges in Karlsruhe.

Employees working in kindergartens, schools, or accommodation centres for asylum seekers must also be immunised against measles if born after 1970.

With the new regulation, the German government wants to eradicate the childhood disease. Experts warn that it is not a harmless virus. According to them, complications may occur, and the virus weakens the immune system in the long term.

Last spring, the constitutional court also approved the mandatory vaccination of health staff against Covid-19. That requirement has been in force since March 2022.



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