Germany’s new prime minister wants all children vaccinated

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL – GERMANY – Germany’s incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to ensure vaccines are available for all children. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

BERLIN (WALL STREET JOURNAL/AP) — Germany’s incoming chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to ensure that all children will be vaccinated, but on what terms is still unclear.

Scholz, who becomes head of the Social Democratic Party on Monday, has been the driving force behind a new vaccination law to include the HPV vaccine for girls.

The laws allow young children to get those vaccines without parental consent if they have a personal or health justification.

In a newspaper interview published Thursday, Scholz said it’s “premature” to say how to proceed with immunization laws.

A measure was submitted to the German parliament which in its last session changed the wording of the vaccinations to include parental consent.

In a statement, Dr. Matthias Kopp of the German Association of Pediatrics, welcomed the law, saying it will prevent unvaccinated children from contracting diseases.

The German government is rolling out a series of vaccination policies. The new measures add HPV vaccine for all girls, who are entering elementary school, as well as the first set of mass vaccinations against the flu.

Speaking Thursday on the sidelines of an event, EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said Europe should follow the moves by Germany and increase public health vigilance, but he said there was still a need for action to prevent outbreaks of the highly contagious HIV virus and tuberculosis, or TB.

“I hope at the EU level to make sure that vaccine policies at all levels do not go off track,” Andriukaitis said.

Andriukaitis said that while he was positive about Germany’s policy initiative, it would be “a mistake” to reduce demand for vaccinations against infectious diseases.


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