Over the last months and years Central Europe has seen a significant increase of measles outbreaks. In Austria alone there have been more than 130 cases documented in 2019 so far. The reason for this is a vaccination rate that is stagnant since years. Globally this is not only the case for measles but also for other dangerous diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
A major problem of the stagnating vaccination rate is that it prevents eradication of theses diseases. For eradication the effect of herd immunity is necessary. For this global vaccination threshold of approximately 95% has to be reached.
To take care of this and mitigate the risk to which the general public is being exposed to by anti-vaxxers,Germany is preparing a law for compulsory vaccination. This law not only foresees fines for people unwilling to get vaccination but also to exclude unvaccinated children from childcare facilities.
Austria, by the way, does not collect data on measles and polio vaccination for the general public. To cope with this the ministry for health has recently commissioned DEXHELPP to carry out a research project in order to extrapolate these figures. These extrapolations are based on simulation models developed by the dwh GmbH and with know-how from the Technical University Vienna.
Author: Štefan Emrich