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Germany considers fining parents over $2,700 if they don't vaccinate children

Germany considers fining parents over $2,700 if they don't vaccinate children
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Germany may soon fine parents over $2,700 if they don’t vaccinate their children, Germany's Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn told a regional newspaper over the weekend.

In an interview with German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Spahn said the country may fine parents 2,500 euros ($2,790) if they cannot prove their children have been vaccinated for measles, ABC News reported on Sunday. He also said the country is considering banning unvaccinated children from daycare facilities.  

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Sphan's proposal has not yet been discussed by the country's cabinet, but it comes as measles outbreaks emerge in areas around the world where the disease had previously been eradicated.

There have been nearly 700 cases of measles reported in the U.S. this year, an outbreak attributed in part to the rise of the "anti-vaccine" movement of people who refuse to get vaccinations. Measles was eradicated in the U.S. 19 years ago.

There were more than 82,000 measles cases in Europe last year, with 72 measles-related deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Most of the infections were reported in Ukraine. 

Germany is seeking to insulate itself from the growing health hazard, but compulsory medical procedures are controversial in the country.

“I want to eradicate measles,” Spahn told the newspaper, according to Reuters. “Anyone going to a kindergarten or school should be vaccinated against measles." 

The number of measles cases worldwide increased by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019 compared to the same time period last year, according to the WHO. Europe has experienced a 300 percent increase so far in 2019. 

WHO in 2018 listed "vaccine hesitancy" as one of the top public health threats facing the world, with more individuals refusing to vaccinate their children or themselves.