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Despite the confirmation of seven measles cases in the Grand Duchy since the beginning of 2017, the government will not be making certain childrens' vaccinations mandatory.
The minister for health, Lydia Mutsch, responded to the LSAP (Luxembourg's socialist workers' party) MP Cécile Hemmen's parliamentary question concerning vaccinations. In her response, Mutsch provided details on how the contamination occurred in the seven cases. She confirmed that all seven had contracted the virus abroad or through someone they knew who had been abroad.
Three of the cases occurred outside of Europe, in Australia and Thailand. A further two contractions occurred in Italy and Greece. The last two, of which one of the people in question was a child, were contaminated by a family member or friend who had already contracted the virus.
Of the seven, only one person had been vaccinated, albeit in their youth. The other six had never received a vaccine against measles.
Answering Hemmen, Mutsch confirmed that Luxembourg would not follow Italy and France in making vaccinations mandatory for children. Her justification was that the vaccination rate in the Grand Duchy is already more than satisfactory.
A further reason for the government's 'recommendation' stance on vaccines addresses the fact that some citizens distrust vaccines. Mutsch explained that making vaccines mandatory could potentially alienate these citizens more and make their resistance to vaccines stronger.
She did concede that the ministry's position could change if it transpired that insufficient numbers of the population were protected against such viruses. In that scenario, the ministry would reinforce its information campaigns and specifically target parents with young children in its awareness campaigns.