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The 20 Most Frequent Objections to Vaccinations – and Responses

Germany does not have mandatory vaccinations. Source: © Fotolia

The figures for vaccinations are growing – but does this make us healthier? This question has been discussed time and again for many years. When mandatory smallpox vaccinations were introduced for children in Germany in 1874, the debate was fierce, and critics started up journals such as “Der Impfgegner” (the vaccination objector) to create a platform for their arguments. Today, too, the debate often revolves around vaccinating children. People ask whether the jabs do children more harm than good. Are vaccinations dangerous or superfluous? What do we really know about side-effects? Which part does the pharmaceutical industry with its profit motive play?


Germany does not have mandatory vaccinations. Everyone can refuse vaccinations, both for themselves and their children, without stating their reasons. And many of those who describe themselves as vaccination objectors or vaccination critics do precisely this. Here, immunisation specialists of the Robert Koch Institute and the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines) have listed the 20 most frequent objections to vaccinations. Their answers provide information around the issues raised in order to allow an informed and balanced view of the benefits of vaccination. This document was prepared in 2007; this is an updated version.

Date: 19.08.2016

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