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Thelen, Peter

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Handelsblatt - Germany | 24/02/2015

Time for mandatory vaccination in Germany

A toddler died of measles last week in Berlin. The city is experiencing its biggest wave of measles infections in 14 years. German Health Minister Hermann Gröhe is right to call for mandatory vaccination, the liberal financial daily Handelsblatt comments: "Mandatory vaccination was introduced against smallpox in the German Empire in 1874 and in the GDR against numerous infectious diseases. By contrast the political leaders of former West Germany and of the reunified Federal Republic of Germany have relied on educating the population instead. ... Now the non-immunised are endangering not just their own lives but those of others, and in particular babies who are not yet immunised. Their right to freedom from bodily harm is more important than the right to refuse vaccination. The harmful side effects always put forward as an argument against vaccination are absolute exceptions. Let no one say that mandatory vaccination is ineffective. The US eradicated measles back in 2002."

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