Health Minister Simon Harris takes interest in German plans to fine parents who don’t get children vaccinated

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Health Minister Simon Harris takes interest in German plans to fine parents who don’t get children vaccinated

55 cases of measles have been reported so far in 2019 compared to 76 cases for the whole of 2018


Minister Harris said he intends to create an alliance of healthcare professionals and policy makes to promote vaccinations.
Minister Harris said he intends to create an alliance of healthcare professionals and policy makes to promote vaccinations.

HEALTH Minister Simon Harris is following with “interest” plans to fine parents who do not get their children vaccinated against measles.

A review of European strategies to promote vaccine uptake and is underway by health officials Mr Harris has detailed plans to make vaccinations mandatory here.

Germany’s Federal Health Minister, Jens Spahn has put forward a new bill, The Measles Protection Act, that would require all children entering school or kindergarten to have both measles vaccinations.

German parents who object to vaccinating their children will be committing an ‘administrative offence’ and may face fines of up to €2,500.

Health Minister Jens Spahn told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag on Sunday that he wanted to eradicate measles in Germany.

“Anyone going to a kindergarten or school should be vaccinated against measles,” he said, adding that parents would need to show proof of vaccination or could face fines and exclusion from daycare.

A Minister Harris has taken interest in Spahn’s proposal.

“The Minister and his officials note with interest the initiative taken by Germany in relation to the significant challenges represented by vaccine hesitancy which is, in part, a consequence of misinformation and disinformation promulgated on social media and elsewhere,” they said.

“The European Commission has recently advised that vaccination coverage is decreasing and diseases are increasing, which is a risk for public health and security.

“On foot of this, the Minister has instructed officials in his Department to conduct a review of strategies within the EU and internationally to combat vaccine hesitancy.”

The department said that Mr Harris intends to create an alliance of healthcare professionals and policy makers to promote vaccination, particularly the childhood immunisation programme and the HPV vaccine for both girls and boys.

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“The Minister has also written to the Attorney General to seek legal advice as to the Constitutionality of introducing schemes of mandatory vaccination and to Oireachtas members to seek their support to pass a cross party motion in support of our childhood immunisation programmes and the HPV vaccine for both girls and boys,” the spokesperson said.

Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease which can give rise to complications such as pneumonia, ear and eye infections and croup (an infection of the lungs and throat).

As of 30 April 2019, 55 cases of measles have been reported compared to 76 cases for the whole of 2018.

Online Editors


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