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Parents In Germany Can Be Fined $2,750 For Failing To Vaccinate Their Kids

Ryan Ford 15 Nov 2019

German lawmakers took a strong but controversial stand against outbreaks of preventable diseases, passing a law that will see parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids fined up to $2,750, as well as a ban from attending preschool or school.

Under the new law, which will take effect in March 2020, parents will have to provide proof that their kids, aged 6 and older, have been immunized when entering the school system or else face the fine.

A heated debate erupted in Germany over the issue of mandatory vaccinations after a significant rise in measles cases there.

Reddit | OvidPerl

Like so many nations, Germany hasn't been untouched by anti-vaccine misinformation and last year reported more than 500 cases of measles, with a further 400+ so far in 2019, despite the fact that the disease had been largely wiped out in much of the developed world.

Nevertheless, forcing people to get vaccinations remains a contentious decision.

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While the opposition argued in favor of more education rather than forcible vaccinations, the government felt compelled to move ahead with the legislation.

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Measles_baby.jpg

Germany's health minister, Jens Spahn, argued that the new law amounted to "child protection."

"A measles infection is an unnecessary threat in 2019," he said, according to The Guardian.

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Spahn also stressed that individuals have a responsibility toward the rest of society.

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"My understanding of freedom does not stop at my level as an individual," he said, according to Fox News. "It is also a question of whether I am unnecessarily putting others at risk.

"Freedom also means that I will not be unnecessarily put at risk and that is precisely why, from the point of view of preserving freedom, this law is a good law, because it protects freedom and health."

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Children aren't the only ones who need to be vaccinated under the new legislation.

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Adults born after 1970 who work with children, including daycare workers, healthcare workers, and camp counselors, will all have to have proof of immunization, with exemptions allowed only for medical reasons, with a doctor's approval.

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Older children who are already enrolled in school will have more time to get their vaccinations.

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They'll have until July 31, 2021 to prove they have their immunizations, and schools and other public institutions will be required to report parents refusing to vaccinate their kids to health authorities.

h/t: Fox News, The Guardian

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