Measles cases rise up all over Europe, with already 504 measles cases in Germnay according to the latest figures by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). This is compared to just 33 cases within the same period last year and with 326 cases for the whole of 2016.
Also Italy* has seen data risen up and recorded nearly three times more measles cases so far this year than for all of 2016, that’s why Italian government has now obliged parents to immunize their children before enrolling them at state-run schools. Children aged up to six will now receive 12 compulsory vaccinations against infectious diseases, including measles, meningitis, polio, whooping cough and hepatitis B.
In Germany Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said it was necessary to tighten the law because of a measles epidemic. However in Germnay it an offence to refuse vaccinations as in Italy.
Under the plan, that should be adopted fron the 1st Jube, the children of parents not complying could be expelled from their daycare centre and the parents could be fined up to €2,500 (US$2,800). Authorities can already fine parents who allow children to skip vaccination, which is mandatory for attending kindergartens. However, it was previously up to nurseries to decide whether to report such parents.
The Venice project survey has reported that 15 countries in Europe had no mandatory vaccinations, and the rest had at least one mandatory vaccination. The report concluded that “the label ‘mandatory’ is not the only driver behind achieving a high vaccination coverage, and many other factors can play a role, such as the use of combined vaccines, prices for the recipient, kind of offer, information and promotional campaigns”.
Talking about measles, the WHO reported that since the introduction of the two doses of anti-measles vaccine across Europe the number of cases has dropped sharply. However 14 European countries are described as “endemic” and most cases this year were reported in seven of them: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and Ukraine. The largest outbreaks are in Italy and Romania, the WHO says.
Probably to cut down numbers in these endemic countries it is necessary to screen that also the second dose of the measles vaccine is administered to at least 95% of the population. Most of the time this level is not reached, accordinf to the WHO.
*According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, since the beginning of 2017 and as of 14 May, Italy has reported 2 395 cases in 18 of the 21 regions. Among these, 197 cases occurred among healthcare workers. Most of the cases (73%) are above the age of 15 years, 89% of the cases were not vaccinated and 7% received only one dose of vaccine