Top German court upholds mandatory measles vaccination for children

BERLIN, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Germany's compulsory measles vaccination for children in day-care centers and schools will remain in force, the country's Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) ruled on Thursday.

Despite an interference with the fundamental rights of the children and their parents, the protection of vulnerable persons from measles over the interests of the complainants was "not objectionable under constitutional law," the court said in a statement.

Since March 2020, daycare centers in Germany accept children aged one or older only if they are vaccinated or have already recovered from the measles. Failure to comply with the regulation can face fines up to 2,500 euros (2,540 U.S. dollars).

Assuming that measles outbreaks in daycare centers for children would increase without mandatory vaccination was "tenable and unobjectionable under constitutional law," the court noted.

The decision was "good news for parents and children," said Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach. Getting a vaccination was an "imperative of reason" as measles disease was "life-threatening -- for the sick and their environment."

Measles vaccination gaps in Germany were "still too large," according to the Ministry of Health. Due to "major regional differences," the desired vaccination rate of 95 percent for herd immunity was not achieved at the national level.

The Association of Child and Youth Physicians in Germany (BVKJ) welcomed the ruling, saying it would now bring legal security. Measles had a very high complication rate and "we are very happy for children and adolescents to be protected this way," BVKJ spokesperson Jakob Maske told Xinhua. (1 euro = 1.02 U.S. dollars)

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