To abolish compulsory vaccination, we are not yet mature


Only high levels of society can prevent the return of the diseases we have eradicated, emphasizes the medical profession. The proportion of children vaccinated in Slovenia is high, despite concerns about vaccinating opponents. However, our company is not yet ripe to abolish compulsory vaccination and rely on parents to vaccinate their children without compulsion.

The profession of health professionals has no worries: the vaccines have been resolved
more lives than any other public health measure. Photo: STA
The profession of health professionals has no worries: the vaccines have been resolved
more lives than any other public health measure. Photo: STA

> Opposition to vaccination is among the top 10 threats to the world's population, warns the World Health Organization.

No compulsion (yet) is not

There are not many ardent opponents of vaccination, it just seems so because they are so noisy in public. Many parents who have concerns are confused by the flood of information online and, after consulting their pediatrician, decide to vaccinate, observes pediatricians. Andreja Borinc Beden. Parents encourage them to yield to their children, also by example; your children have gone through all the mandatory and more optional vaccines. "We need to understand the vaccine as part of our integrated health care," said the pediatrician, one of the guests at the round table yesterday, prepared by the Slovenian Press Agency.

In Germany, unvaccinated children would be excluded from kindergarten

Compulsory vaccination against measles to enter kindergarten is only introduced by Germany. A few days ago the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia introduced a bill that provides that children who were not vaccinated against measles should be excluded from kindergarten, while parents of unvaccinated primary children would have to pay fines of up to 2,500 euros.

In Slovenia, it is mandatory to vaccinate against nine infectious diseases, and vaccination against HPV for girls and pneumococcus is free and recommended for children. While the vast majority of parents decide on mandatory vaccination of children, only half of the girls are screened for the selection of girls vaccinated against HPV and 60% for the vaccination of children against pneumococci.

Andrej Borinc Beden is convinced that a similar proportion would come, even if the parents had the option of vaccines that are now mandatory. "The culture of vaccination and awareness is low in our country," says the pediatrician. Though forced against it, we can not afford to stop because of this attitude toward vaccination.

Adulthood is high

Vaccination of children in Slovenia against nine infectious diseases is relatively good, according to an infectologist and pediatrician at the Clinic for Feelings and Infectious Diseases UKC Ljubljana Marko Pokorn. For example, there is no measles virus. In all cases of measles in the last ten years, the patient was infected abroad.

The poor opponents of vaccination can not be convinced by any arguments, says Pokorn: "It is like faith. It is difficult to convert Vernik." There are many who have concerns, and they are also actively engaged in medical students in Ljubljana and Maribor. Ana Keršič, who heads the Vancinet student project in Maribor, draws attention to a number of negative and incorrect information on the web. Because of this, the Vakcinet project not only educates in the field, schools and health facilities, but also strives to disseminate reliable information online.

When it comes to mandatory vaccination, medical staff in Slovenia should also look in the mirror. Pre-treatment of influenza was 4% in Slovenia last year and 14% in health professionals. The most common are vaccinated physicians who work in departments where there are many infectious diseases, and most of them administrative and support staff. "Health professionals should be an example," this information is critical. Nadja Šinkovec of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).

What about the price of vaccines?

When it comes to optional vaccines, it is not a negligible reason why people do not vaccinate, as well as the price of vaccines. For each of the three doses of the tick-borne meningoencephalitis vaccine, 35 euros should be deducted, and then the vaccination should be repeated. Vaccination against HPV for boys and girls who have not yet had the possibility of free vaccination in the 6th year costs 70 euros per dose. Two doses are needed.

NIJZ prepares changes for these two vaccines. In the fall, they will begin implementing a free vaccination program against benign meningoencephalitis for 49-year-olds and three-year-olds. Data show that the burden of this dangerous disease increases greatly after 50 years, explains Nadja Šinkovec. They are also preparing to introduce free HPV vaccination for boys.


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