Health minister refuses to make measles vaccine mandatory

Although the majority think the vaccine should be required, Hækkerup says that education and information is the key

Three out of four Danes would like to see the MMR vaccinations against measles and other diseases become mandatory, but Nick Hækkerup, the health minister, doesn’t think new legislation is the answer.

Hækkerup would continue policies that include sending reminder letters to parents who have not yet assured that their children have received the two MMR vaccinations.

“Of course we can make rules and punishment to coerce people,” Hækkerup to DR Nyheder. “I think people would prefer that we inform and discuss rather that legislate and punish.”

Free shots
Statens Serum Instititut said that eliminating the risk of a measles epidemic in Denmark would require that at least 95 percent of children be vaccinated. Currently, 90 percent of parents have their children receive the MFR 1 vaccine, and only 87 percent insure that their children receive the MFR 2 vaccine.

“Families get busy and forget,” said Hækkerup.

READ MORE: More adults need to be vaccinated against measles, warn healthcare professionals

Hækkerup is working to make vaccines free for any adult over 18-years-old who has not been vaccinated. Adult woman who did not receive the MMR vaccine as a child, can already get it for free.