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Health insurance evaluation: Around half of toddlers are still incompletely vaccinated
In Germany, there is often uncertainty about vaccinations. Not all parents are sure which diseases to vaccinate against. Some of them are apparently also careless. Because, as an evaluation by a health insurance company now shows, around half of the small children are still incompletely vaccinated.
A recent evaluation by Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) shows that around half of the children born in 2016 did not receive all of the recommended vaccinations by the second birthday. Fully vaccinated against measles, whooping cough, chickenpox and the like - including all partial vaccinations - are just under 47 percent. 3.6 percent of young children have not received a single standard vaccination recommended by the Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO). Eleven percent of the children's cohort examined were incompletely vaccinated against measles and seven percent were not at all.
Not immunized safely
“If children do not receive all the necessary partial vaccinations, they are not safely immunized. It is crucial that the children quickly receive all vaccinations in order to be protected. The prerequisites for this are given because the parents generally have their children vaccinated and therefore do not belong to the group of opponents of vaccination, ”explains Dr. Jens Baas, CEO of TK, in a message. According to the information, partial vaccinations can usually be rescheduled without problems without having to start the vaccination series again.
Strong regional differences
As the TK reports, the analysis of vaccination data for children born in 2016 shows strong regional differences. While the proportion of those who were not fully vaccinated is 69 percent in Hesse and 62 percent in Saxony, 39 percent of children in Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg fall into this group, and 37 percent in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
The majority of people are ready to vaccinate
“Most people are ready to vaccinate - but vaccination is often not easy enough. There are many practical hurdles. Adults are also often not even aware that or when they should be vaccinated. Measures should be used to react to this, ”says psychologist Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch from the University of Erfurt, who researches vaccination decisions. “The data show that there is room for improvement. It is important to raise parents' awareness of the topic even more. Here we could support health insurers even better if we could actively and specifically point out forgotten vaccinations - preferably digitally, ”adds TK boss Baas.
The measles vaccination will come next year
Vaccination has been under discussion for some time against the background of low rates; measles vaccination should come on March 1, 2020. A statement by the Federal Ministry of Health states: "The bill provides that all children must have both measles vaccinations recommended by the Standing Vaccination Commission when entering school or kindergarten. Proof of measles vaccination must also be provided when looking after a childminder. ”According to the information, the same also applies to“ persons who work in community facilities or medical facilities such as educators, teachers, day care workers and medical staff (insofar as these people were born after 1970) are). Asylum seekers and refugees must also provide proof of vaccination four weeks after being admitted to a shared accommodation.
More information needed
Not all experts are convinced that vaccination is mandatory. "A duty should be the last resort of choice," says Professor Dr. Gerd Glaeske from the University of Bremen. “We need more education to ensure that children and adults are fully vaccinated. It should be clear to everyone that the health of the community is at stake. ”And the psychologist Cornelia Betsch adds:“ In particular, warn against the introduction of a partial vaccination requirement. Other voluntary vaccinations can appear less important or can be omitted more often by people who are critical of vaccinations. ”
New active substances evaluated
According to the TK, vaccination rates were raised as part of the 2019 Innovation Report. A total of 23 active substances that were newly launched in 2016 were evaluated for this report. In particular, it was examined whether an existing therapy is improved, whether there is an additional benefit and whether the costs are reasonable. It turned out that the positive development of the past year could not continue entirely. 14 preparations and thus more than 60 percent received a red traffic light from the scientists at the University of Bremen, in 2018 the proportion was 31 percent. It is positive that five active substances have been given a green traffic light, including the HPV vaccine. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.