Measles Vaccinations Are Now Mandatory in Germany


The issue of vaccinations has for some reason become a hot button issue. To be clear: vaccines work, and they save lives. But with both sides unwilling to back down, people are starting to wonder if governments are going to have to step in and lay down the law.

The conversation is made more interesting by the fact that Germany recently did just that.

In Europe, the primary cause of measles outbreaks is a “failure to vaccinate,” a symptom of the growing distrust of vaccinations – distrust that is founded largely on misinformation. Patient zero was a “scientific” paper published by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 that linked the MMR vaccine to the onset of autism in children, but the paper has since been completely debunked, Wakefield has been kicked out of the medical profession due to ethical issues (he was trying to patent a competing vaccine when he released the study), and the journal that published the study has retracted it.

So there is now no evidence of any sort linking the MMR vaccine to autism.


But the “most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years” has wreaked havoc. Despite it being wholly retracted and disproved and it’s author banned from practicing after being found guilty of “serious professional misconduct,” “falsification of data,” “exploiting children,” and “conflict of interest through financial gain,” people continue to hesitate to vaccinate their children.

And the death toll from measles continues to rise, with the disease killing around 110,000 people in 2017.

All of this prompted Germany to pass the Measles Protection Act on July 17, 2019. The law will go into effect on March 1, 2020, at which time parents will have to prove that their children were vaccinated before they will be allowed to enroll them in school. Those who fail to provide records or to comply by July 31, 2021, will face fines in addition to having their child barred from school.


The law applies not only to students but to teachers, caregivers, doctors, and anyone else working in community or medical facilities, and also includes refugees entering the country and looking to take advantage of community accommodations.

“Whether in kindergarten, at the childminder or at school, we want to protect all children against measles infection,” Germany’s Health Minister said in a statement.

German officials hope that the law will help bump their country-wide coverage to well above 95% – the recommended level to maintain “a sturdy ‘herd immunity,'” according to the WHO – and will help them see a decrease from their 651 new cases in 2018.


France, Italy, and Australia have all introduced similar laws making vaccinations mandatory, and I have to imagine that, unless a lot of sense is knocked into folks, more countries will certainly follow.