In Austria childhood immunisation is strongly recommended. Schools for nurses and personal in hospitals require vaccination, even against measles from their employees and students. Caretakers for old people are required to have vaccinations. Everybody working in a hospital is required to be vaccinated. A few years ago a review has been made within the doctors, and only 17% of the doctors were vaccinated. At the Military Service vaccination is required, but if a soldier is willing to take responsibility for not being vaccinated, he/has to sign a form that he takes responsibility.
Short time ago a school doctor took a boy aside and told him that in case he would not be vaccinates against measles and there would be a measles outbreak, the police would come and take him and vaccinate him by force. Everybody was shocked and even a newspaper reported on it.
EFVV organisations in Austria:
Other pro-choice organisations in Austria:
Unvaccinated children in Austria are allowed in nurseries, preschools and kindergardens, and primary schools.
Adverse event following immunisation public reporting system
Side effects are mostly denied and not reported.
Rumors of mandatory vaccination in Austria
(a summary by the EFVV Austrian delegate, taken from the Health Ministry website)
The vaccination rate in Austria is far below the 95%, it is generally around 87% and slightly above 70% in some districts of Tyrol.
Germany has similar problems with pertussis (whooping cough). Last year Germany reported 22.000 cases, as many as never seen before. The flu causes about 1000 deaths and therefore the vaccination rate needs to be improved.
The Ministry of Health considers mandatory vaccination
A spokesman of the former Mrs. Oberhauser, Minister of Health (who used to be a pediatrician) says that the legal situation to introduce mandatory vaccination is being revised, yet it looks difficult due to the Constitution, which takes into account both the individual and the public health.
Discussion about mandatory vaccination
Ursula Köller, Head of the Working Group Comission on Bioethics of the Federal Chancellery of Austria deems that mandatory vaccination is worth being discussed nevertheless. “Evidence for protection against illnesses before going to school, kindergarden or university would definitely make sense, similarly to what we see in Anglo-Saxon countries and the United States of America.” According to her, mandatory vaccination for health professionals is beyond any question.
Herwig Kollaritsch, the Vaccine expert and Doctor for Tropical Diseases, stated: “Some years ago in south Italy mandatory vaccination against Hepatitis B has been introduced. This way the disease has practically been eliminated.” (this is a real fake, also try to find an official Ro herd immunity value for hepatitis B if you can) “Without mandatory vaccination, smallpox would never been eliminated in Austria.”
Doctors’ and parents’ duty
Two groups of persons could change the situation without mandatory vaccination: doctors and parents. Doctors would have to inform diligently according to their obligation of due diligence. As stated in the vaccination plan, should a doctor advise against vaccinating in a personal consultation – without contraindications – this would violate the principles of evidence based medicine and may question the thrustworthiness of the doctor.
“A group of vaccine critics and vaccine sceptics is responsible for the decreasing vaccination rates”, says Peter Kreidl, representative of the Department of Hygiene and Microbiology (MUI) and initiator of the European Vaccine Week which was held in Tyrol. “This group of persons acquires information from the internet. Improving the communication with these groups has to be the focus.” Kreidl furtheron explained that “these groups of persons often believe in conspiracy theories, that only pharma industry profits from vaccination. This group of people is not homogeneous, but they have similar beliefs.”
Not everybody can cope with every vaccination
Websites of vaccine critics are warning of side effects of vaccines which are in no relation to the protection given by vaccination. As a matter of fact there are cases in which a vaccination cannot be recommended, for example if the immune system is weak due to an illness or in other cases. This is when the higher vaccination rate in the population helps. The “herd immunity” makes the contact with the pathogenic agent reduced to a minimum. Horror stories of vaccine damages and adverse effects have an effect on worried parents and cause uncertainty.
Thousands of children in Austria without measles vaccination
Around 6% of the 2 to 5 years old children, that is about 20.000 children at present are not vaccinated against measles. About 10% of all the vaccinated children didn’t have their booster doses. That means about 39.000 little kids and more than 37.000 school children.
Therefore the Austrian Vaccination Plan is addressed to the parents: “According to the UN Convention of November 20th, 1989 children have the right to get the best health care. This includes the protection from illnesses that can be prevented by vaccination. It is the duty of parents to keep up their children’s vaccination.” The general principle of vaccination reads as follows: “Every person who wants to protect himself/herself and his/her family members or contact persons should get vaccinated.”
(published on February 8th, 2017, Austrian Ministry of Health)