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German health minister confirms plans for mandatory measles immunisation

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German Health Minister, Jens Spahn sees new data from a health insurer on gaps in measles immunisation coverage as further justification for government plans to make inoculation compulsory.

“No matter how you calculate, the fact remains, too many children are needlessly put at risk in Germany because too few children have been inoculated against measles,’’ Spahn said in Berlin on Thursday.

Spahn said the health insurance sector could assist through information campaigns and cooperation with schools.

According to the analysis by the insurer Barmer, the gaps in immunisation are larger than previously assumed.

Barmer found rates below 90 per cent among the children insured with it on starting school in 2017.

Previous official statistics put the rate at above 90 per cent.

The cabinet has initiated legislation to impose mandatory immunisation, with parents having to show evidence before their children are accepted at a day care centre or school from March 2020.

Professionals working with children will also have to demonstrate that they have been immunised.

Edited by Halima Sheji

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