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Measles vaccination: Require health authorities to provide proof (symbolic image)

Photo: Friso Gentsch / dpa

Health authorities may demand proof of measles vaccination for school attendance and threaten a penalty payment if the parents of the students do not present the proof. The Administrative Court of Berlin, on the other hand, rejected urgent applications, as it has now announced. Thus, complaints from parents, one female and two male students against the actions of the health department of the Treptow-Köpenick district were unsuccessful.

According to the court, the authority had demanded proof of measles vaccination from the students and threatened a fine of 200 euros if the relevant document was not presented. In doing so, the health department invoked the danger of the highly contagious viral disease.

A controversial issue for years

The obligation to provide proof would be tantamount to compulsory vaccination and would be unconstitutional, the parents argued. There were significant health risks associated with the vaccination and they would not be able to enforce them against the will of their children.

Vaccination against measles has been the subject of fierce debate for years. Since 1 March 2020, daycare centres and childminders have no longer been allowed to admit children from the age of one without being checked. Parents must prove that their child has either been vaccinated or has already had measles. The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe had declared compulsory vaccination permissible in July 2022.

The Berlin court based its cases on this decision. The decisions can still be appealed to the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg.