Federal Council decision: measles vaccination will be mandatory from March 2020

Federal Council decision: measles vaccination will be mandatory from March 2020

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Federal Council has decided: measles vaccination from March 2020

On Friday, the German Federal Council approved the legal measles vaccination requirement in community facilities decided by the Bundestag. As of March 1, 2020, parents must demonstrate that their children are vaccinated against measles when they enroll them in a day care center or school.

When it became known a few months ago that the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) is planning a compulsory vaccination to effectively protect schoolchildren and kindergarten children from measles, there has been criticism from some experts and also from opponents of vaccination. However, a survey has shown that the majority of Germans support measles vaccination. The Federal Council has now approved the legal measles vaccination requirement.

Proof of measles vaccination

According to a communication from the Federal Council, measles vaccination in schools and day-care centers will be compulsory in the future: At its meeting on December 20, 2019, the Federal Council approved the statutory obligation imposed by the Bundestag in community facilities.

As of March 1, 2020, parents are required to provide evidence that their children are vaccinated against measles when they enroll them in a day care center or school.

The measles vaccination is then also a prerequisite for admission to other community facilities such as homes or accommodation in asylum seeker accommodation. Employees of such facilities or in the medical field are also covered by the obligation to vaccinate.

Large fines threaten

As stated in the communication, violations of the obligation to vaccinate can result in a fine of up to € 2,500. The fine can also be imposed on day care centers that do not allow children to be vaccinated. Non-vaccinated personnel in community facilities or residents of such facilities must also face fines under the new regulations.

Why vaccination is needed

The Federal Ministry of Health again points out on its website why a legal vaccination against measles is needed in certain facilities:

"Measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases in humans," it says. Measles can lead to serious complications, especially for children under the age of five and adults. These include otitis media, pneumonia and diarrhea.

According to the information, brain inflammation (encephalitis) occurs in one in 1,000 to 2,000 cases. And a mostly fatal late consequence of measles is subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). It is observed in one in 10,000-100,000 cases of measles and occurs on average about seven years after an acute measles infection.

According to the ministry, children have a significantly higher risk of developing an SSPE. In total, around one to three out of 1,000 people with measles die in industrialized countries.

Not all people can protect themselves

The previous measures to increase vaccination rates have not resulted in enough people being vaccinated in Germany. There are still vaccine gaps in all age groups.

According to the information, the nationwide vaccination rate for the second measles vaccination recommended by the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) for children aged 24 months is only 73.9 percent. However, at least 95 percent is required to successfully eliminate measles.

Some of the people covered by the law cannot protect themselves against measles, for example because they are pregnant or have a very weak immune system. They rely on others to show solidarity and to be vaccinated. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Federal Council: Selected agenda items for the 984th meeting on 20.12.2019, (accessed: 22.12.2019), Federal Council
  • Federal Ministry of Health: Why do we need a legal vaccination against measles ?, (accessed: December 22, 2019), Federal Ministry of Health

Video: Controversial researcher claims link between vaccine and autism. 60 Minutes Australia (November 2022).