Left: Advice instead of compulsory vaccination

Left: Advice instead of compulsory vaccination

Doctors and midwives should provide better information about measles vaccinations

In view of the increased measles infections in recent months, the introduction of compulsory vaccination is currently being discussed intensively at various levels, although opinions - not only in politics - are sometimes far apart. The Left Party has now made it clear in a recent announcement that compulsory vaccination is, in its opinion, only an option if "all other measures have failed and there is a corresponding threat to public health." The Alliance 90 / The Greens party had already been voiced for two weeks.

The current media coverage of the measles outbreak in Berlin and the lack of vaccination protection sometimes gives the impression that most Germans are fundamental opponents of vaccination who have to be forced to be vaccinated to their luck. In fact, the statistics show that 64 percent of parents are already convinced of vaccinations and have their children vaccinated accordingly, the Greens report. Only one percent of parents categorically rule out vaccination. "The high rate of initial vaccination shows that very few parents consciously decide against vaccination," said the Left Party. The introduction of an obligation to vaccinate with the already increasing measles vaccination rates of children does not really help.

Obligation to vaccinate ethically and constitutionally problematic In principle, the voluntary nature of the medical services is "in itself a great asset, because it is about self-determination, physical integrity and also trust in the patient orientation of medicine", report the left. Medical intervention without consent fulfills the offense of bodily harm. On the other hand, it is necessary to ensure that vaccination rates are sufficiently high to build up herd protection and thus block the transmission routes of the viruses. However, vaccination of the population is not absolutely necessary in order to achieve the most important goals, according to the position paper of the Left Bundestag faction. "A forced intervention in physical integrity is always ethical and also constitutionally problematic," the left continue to report. The current measles outbreaks are alarming, but according to the Left Party, they could have been largely prevented by appropriate measures.

Further increase in acceptance of measles vaccination Instead of the discussions about the introduction of an obligation to vaccinate, the Left Party believes that a social debate is needed to achieve a broad consensus on measles vaccinations. "The acceptance of the vaccination depends crucially on the involvement of those affected in the decision-making process," said the left. Vaccination relieves individuals of this decision and the state instead defines what is right and what is wrong. This type of decision understandably causes discomfort, distrust or even resistance. As an alternative measure to improve the vaccination rate, the Left Party cites, for example, "a comprehensive, outreach information offer for parents, for example in the daycare center, school, etc., that conveys the state of knowledge in a way that is value-free, understandable and without a forefinger."

Doctors should check and advise vaccination status Furthermore, doctors, but also midwives and childbirth nurses should be obliged under professional law to provide information on vaccination, according to the position of the left. It must be ensured that the current state of science forms the basis of the advice, because some members of different professional groups would rather spread beliefs than information. Local initiatives that only allow vaccinated children to attend individual daycare centers are also justified in the opinion of the left. However, the Left Party is critical of the basic legal obligation to vaccinate daycare children, as this would effectively undermine the right to a daycare place for those who have decided against vaccinating their children. Since there are also major vaccination gaps in adults, doctors should know the vaccination status of their patients and, if necessary, offer appropriate advice, the left party continues. (fp)

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