Not vaccinating in Germany? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 01-07-2011, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

 

An acquaintance of mine is moving to Germany, and was told that not vaccinating children is illegal over there - and that adhering to the schedule is compulsory. Does anyone here have any info for her? I did see on here that there were folks delaying vax. Is not vaccinating possible? Will an unvaccinated child have trouble getting into the country?

 

Thanks!


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#2 of 15 Old 01-09-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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I'm almost certain that's not true. From what I know it is not at all compulsory, and no school or daycare will ask...this is just what I've heard, DS is still a baby so I dont know though. For sure they don't check at the border as we just got back from the US and nobody asked.
If I remember correctly, it is against EU law to force someone to take medicine against their will and vaccines fall under that category.
Sorry but I have no links right now to prove all of this but a quick google search will find the answer.

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#3 of 15 Old 01-09-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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Not true. Vaxing is strongly recommended but not compulsory.

Due to several horrific child abuse incidents (children locked up and starved to death) well-baby visits according to the (previously merely recommended) schedule are now compulsory or you will have child protection services on your case. This may be what your friend heard about.


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#4 of 15 Old 01-09-2011, 03:39 PM
 
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it's not true .... and she won't have any problems finding kindergarten or school placements ... as all health information is needed to be given after enrollment ...

 

it's also not true that "well-baby visits" are compulsatory!!!!!

 

the only one that is compulsory is an examination that takes place at the health office when the child is old enough to go to school - which is about 5-6 years old - parents do get an extra invitation for that visits - if they won't go to that one child protection services will be informed ...  all other pediatric visits are recommended but not mandatory ..

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#5 of 15 Old 01-13-2011, 03:22 AM
 
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Like the others said, vaccination can be denied althought they (in my only experience) made me feel really self-concious about saying no for my DS2. But I held my ground  nono02.gif

 

Silklunar, why then do I have the social services visiting me since November to go do the U6 and the U7a examinations  (I think those are the right ones) for DS1 who is 3 1/2 and DS2 who is 15 months now??? I keep telling them I'm waiting for our insurance cards to show up in the mail. And they will truly be here in a few weeks now. But I really feel like it's compulsary. What can I do then if I really do not want to go? The social worker said something about the law enforcement will decide of our faith if we don't go jaw.gif.  Thanks! 

 

I'm in Dusseldorf by the way!

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#6 of 15 Old 01-13-2011, 03:37 AM
 
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I live in Germany, and well child visits are not mandatory. And neither is vaccination. But, dr's are obliged to try to talk you into vaccinating. You just have to shop around to find a pediatrician that is willing to delay vaccination or to skip them all together. How would a social service know that you didn't go to the U6 and U7a? You can choose to go to any pediatrician you like, and they are not allowed to share patient information. I guess it is just that particular social service person that has a personal problem. I would just ask for another person and discuss why you don't want to go.

Or I would just take my kid to the U6, it is nothing more than weighing, measuring, listening to heart, looking in mouth and ears. And that's it.

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#7 of 15 Old 01-13-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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We left Germany a couple of years ago, but I do recall that the law regarding well-baby visits had changed and certain visits were required. We did not do one of the well-baby visits because we were out of the country, and we were tracked down and ordered to take our baby to the doctor in Italy and send proof that we had done so.

 

As far as vaccinations - we did not have a problem with that at all. We were lucky to have a pediatrician who believed in homeopathy and other natural rememdies, and was ok with not vaccinating.

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#8 of 15 Old 01-18-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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Hey AJ's mommy,

 

I am sorry to hear about your personal story - but as I wrote well baby visits are not compulsory.

I don't know how child service got involved with you in the first place - but if they are involved NOW I would just go to the well baby visits - go to a physician that is more on the alternative side, and there are a lot of them nowadays .....

Once child service is involved you better play a while they rules - a friend of mine had visits from them for about a year as her mother-in-law was worried about her grandson (who was a completely healthy baby at that time) - but my friend is a vegan and the mother-in-law didn't like that and was so worried about the baby ... so they showed up for a visit .... and did this for about a year ...

Maybe there are ways to get out of their reach ... but I'd need to know more why/how they got involved ...


 

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#9 of 15 Old 01-18-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaid Leopard View Post

We left Germany a couple of years ago, but I do recall that the law regarding well-baby visits had changed and certain visits were required. We did not do one of the well-baby visits because we were out of the country, and we were tracked down and ordered to take our baby to the doctor in Italy and send proof that we had done so.

 

 

who? tracked you down?

 

the well-baby visits are still non-compulsory .... recently they changed laws in Austria ... but not Germany ...

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#10 of 15 Old 01-19-2011, 03:07 AM
 
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The law (recommendations?) regarding well-baby visits did change in 2007.

I took my son who was born in 2003 to a few WBV because I liked the pedi, but then we stopped and it was no big deal.

When my other son was born in 2007, our new pedi - whom I liked even more as he was very natural-minded - explained that they had just changed the laws and that certain visits were compulsory. He actually disagreed with this change but was required to follow it. If parents skipped the WBV it was somehow reported.

I can't remember the whys an wherefores and don't have time to find info at the moment, but I'll be back!smile.gif

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#11 of 15 Old 01-19-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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Ok - It looks like in some parts of Germany (like in Saarland, where we were living) the visits U1-U9 are not obligatory but strongly encouraged. If you miss a visit, the Jugendamt will send you a letter "reminding" you to take your child to the doctor. If you refuse, or don't go for whatever reason, then they may decide to investigate to make sure that you are not endangering your child. This follows in the wake of very publicized cases of children dying from severe abuse and neglect a few years ago.

So, I suppose the letter we received was just a friendly reminder. However, we had already had to deal with Social Services a couple of years earlier and we didn't want to risk having them investigate us again - even though on the whole they were friendly and helpful during the 6 months we dealt with them. A washing-machine repair man had called them on us after he decided that our house was too messy and our kids were being neglected (which was absolutely not true, by the way),

Really, if you find a good pedi, it is much easier to take the baby to get weighed and such and avoid any problems with the Jugendamt or Social Services. Or if you don't have your insurance card, take the child to the doctor's office to show them that everything is ok, tell them you can't pay for the visit and are waiting for your card, and schedule a visit for later.

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#12 of 15 Old 09-07-2012, 08:22 AM
 
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We have just moved to Hamburg this last year.  My daughter is not vaccinated at all, she is 2 and a half now.  She will be starting kindergarten when she turns 3 which is when I vaccinated my son for Diptheria, tetenus and polio.  Thus far that's all he had.  My new ped is okay but is encouraging me to do the MMR and MeneC vaccine for him and the 5 plus 1 vaccine for my daughter.  The one for my daughter has Hib and pertussis as well.  I think she's too old for both of these vaccines but according to the ped there are no other options for her other than doing them individually. 

 

I have already decided not to do any for my son but I'm conflicted about my daughter.  What should I do, one with two extra vaccines that I feel are unnecessary or 3 individual ones?  What would you do?
 

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#13 of 15 Old 09-16-2012, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazieluna View Post

We have just moved to Hamburg this last year.  My daughter is not vaccinated at all, she is 2 and a half now.  She will be starting kindergarten when she turns 3 which is when I vaccinated my son for Diptheria, tetenus and polio.  Thus far that's all he had.  My new ped is okay but is encouraging me to do the MMR and MeneC vaccine for him and the 5 plus 1 vaccine for my daughter.  The one for my daughter has Hib and pertussis as well.  I think she's too old for both of these vaccines but according to the ped there are no other options for her other than doing them individually. 

 

I have already decided not to do any for my son but I'm conflicted about my daughter.  What should I do, one with two extra vaccines that I feel are unnecessary or 3 individual ones?  What would you do?
 

 

Well from what I understand when you do three separate vaccines as opposed to a combined one, your child is getting a much higher dose of aluminum which is one of the main concerns in vaccines. However, I am not sure if that holds true if she gets the three well spaced out, like maybe over one year. I would look into that. I would not want my son to be getting vaxed for diseases  I didn't believe were a threat. Also, have you asked another doctor or researched online if there are no other options / vaccine combos?

 

You will probably get a much better response to this query in the vaccine forum. The Germany forum is quite inactive and far fewer people will see this here.

 

Good luck!


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#14 of 15 Old 12-18-2012, 01:32 PM
 
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We have been living in Germany since my son was 4 months old. I was told the exams are required. He had one at 16 months old and another at 12 months old. They do give you a time frame like from 10-12 months.
My pediatrician was not bothered by me not wanting to vaccinate at all. We habe seen two pedis and both even mentioned that "it is really not required and they just wanted to ask". If anyone would inquire further my short answer is that the risks outweigh the benefits imo. We are also going to Play Dates and none of the mothers find it weird he is not vaccinated.
Furthermore, there have been German studies stating that unvaccinated children are healthier and some are questioning vaccines now as well.

The only problem we ever ran into was something breastfeeding related, when the first pedi said my son needs lots of solids at 6 months bc breastmilk lacks iron. A la leche league leader told me the same. :/ He started solids at 11 months btw bc he was not interested or choking if he tried to taste.

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#15 of 15 Old 05-08-2013, 02:05 AM
 
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I know this thread has been inactive for a while but just in case some is looking it up here:

 

Vaccination is not mandatory in Germany. If a pediatrician is being pushy then it is just him/her and has nothing to do with the law. We asked around for a more naturally-oriented doctor and she was very fine with delaying the entire vaccine schedule (DD had her MMR at 2 years instead of 1 year). My tip would be look for midwives who are more naturally-oriented (a good source is a birth center) and ask them for recommendations.  A lot of pediatricians and doctors here tend to describe homeopathic remedies and suggest well-known home-remedies. They tend to give me prescriptions with the subtitle "if you absolutely want to but it is not 100% necessary, you can wait it out."

 

As for Kindergarten, we received a confirmation that we got a spot and they haven't even checked her vaccination booklet so I assume it is not a must there too.

 

The well-baby visits are compulsory depending on which "state" you live in. In general, all that is done in these visits is a weigh-in, a general checkup that the child is developing properly and a few questions to see if there are any problems that can be handled early (e.g. Autism). It is then entered in the child's "Gelbeheft" (yellow booklet). The doctor will then inform the Jugendamt (Youth Welfare Office) that this child completed this particular visit. If you don't go, the Jugendamt will not receive anything on the child and they will send a letter to remind you. If there is no response, only then they will send someone to check if the child is sill ok/alive.  Like others said, this is done so in response to abuse cases. A friend of mine got such a reminder because her doctor's office forgot to send the notice to the Jugendamt.

 

In Germany, kids are very rarely taken away from parents. Even in relatively bad situations they're kept with their families unless literally their life is in extreme danger.

 

The only thing that is compulsory here is school. No option of homeschooling here!


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