NewsMeasles vaccination legal: Federal Constitutional Court dismisses lawsuits

Measles vaccination legal: Federal Constitutional Court dismisses lawsuits

Created: 08/18/2022 10:13 am

Das Bundesverfassungsgericht weist Klagen gegen eine Masern-Impfpflicht zurück.
The Federal Constitutional Court rejects lawsuits against compulsory measles vaccination. © Julian Stratenschulte/dpa

The Federal Constitutional Court dismisses complaints by affected parents against the measles vaccination requirement for daycare children. It remains in force.

Karlsruhe – Two and a half years ago, compulsory measles vaccination was introduced for children in day-care centers, among other things. Several affected families then filed lawsuits, which have now been dismissed by the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. This means: The vaccination obligation remains in force. This was announced by the judges on Thursday (August 18). The encroachments on fundamental rights are not insignificant, but are currently reasonable.

“Without violating constitutional law, the legislature has given the protection of people at risk of measles infection priority over the interests of the complaining children and parents.”

Compulsory measles vaccination legal – complaints from affected parents dismissed

Compulsory vaccination should one day help to eradicate measles altogether. Experts assume that the highly contagious virus only has no chance if at least 95 percent of the population has been vaccinated across the board. That has not yet been achieved.

The focus is primarily on community facilities such as day-care centers and schools. Since March 1, 2020, day care centers have only been allowed to admit children from the age of one if they are vaccinated or have already had the measles. The same rules apply to childminders. Parents of children who are already in care had until July 31, 2022 to submit proof. No child is excluded from school because of compulsory education. However, parents face fines of up to 2500 euros.

The four pairs of parents with unvaccinated small children had sued because they saw this as a disproportionate encroachment on the fundamental right to physical integrity and their right to bring up children.

Protection against infections: Where the measles vaccination applies

Experts warn against the fallacy that measles is just a harmless childhood disease. Complications can occur and the immune system remains weak for a long time. A rare late consequence is encephalitis, which almost always ends fatally. The highest possible vaccination rate also protects people who cannot be vaccinated, such as infants or pregnant women.

The obligation to vaccinate also applies to other facilities where many people come together, such as refugee accommodation. Employees are also included, for example teachers and educators. The staff in hospitals or doctor’s offices must also be vaccinated or immune to measles. Anyone born before 1971 is exempt. The older ones are thought to have most likely had the measles anyway. Vaccination has only been recommended in Germany since 1974. In the GDR it had been compulsory for children since 1970.

Since March there has also been a corona vaccination requirement for health and nursing staff in Germany. The constitutional court had reviewed this in the spring and also approved it. (asc/dpa)

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