The Austrian health ministry announced Sunday that national vaccination guidelines had been introduced for measles, mumps and rubella. The move establishes a nationwide mandatory vaccination mandate for children starting at age 12 and a three-year experimental vaccination for individuals unable to be immunized.
The Ministry also says the rules, which go into effect on Dec. 17, stem from a poll conducted at the end of July revealing that approximately 85 percent of respondents were in favor of this type of mandate.
“We want people to have the choice of whether or not to be vaccinated if they do not feel comfortable with them,” Joachim Cernak, head of the health ministry’s division of preventive medicine, told the Austria Press Agency.
Of the 11.2 million people living in Austria as of 2017, 16 percent were already vaccinated against these diseases, according to the Ministry of Public Health.
Data from the most recent report from the World Health Organization stated that 874,100 had measles in 2017. The report states that there were more than 49,000 cases worldwide in 2016 and that 945 deaths were reported. In comparison, Austria recorded 61 cases of measles in 2016.
Parents can decide whether to take their children out of school to take the vaccines as well.
To read more about Austria’s new plan, click here.