JOINT STATEMENT BY HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS: ‘Vaccine Hesitancy and Vaccine Rejection are not Personal Decisions’

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  • April 23, 2019
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A group of health organizations have released a statement with the motto “Vaccines are the best presents that you can give to children” and warned the public against the dangers of vaccine hesitancy and vaccine rejection.

Underlining that vaccination is the most effective method of protection from diseases after the provision of drinking water, the statement has been signed by the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Coordination Board of Specialty Associations, Turkish Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Association, National Pediatrics Association of Turkey, Turkish Pediatrics Institution, Clinical Microbiology Specialty Association, Turkish Microbiology Association and Public Health Experts’ Association.

‘Vaccines protect children from 13 different diseases’

In their statement, the organizations have emphasized that “the immunization calendar currently in effect in Turkey provides children with an effective immunization against 13 different viral and bacterial diseases.”

Within this context, the organizations have listed the benefits of vaccinations for children as follows: “Thanks to these vaccines, children either do not have these illnesses or suffer from them very lightly.

“Not only can possible deaths and disabilities be prevented by vaccination, vaccines can also remove the necessity of days- or weeks-long difficult treatment processes or hospitalization. Hepatitis and HPV [Human Papilloma Virus] vaccines can prevent cancers. The only reason why only a very few number of people die of such diseases as diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus is the widespread practice of vaccination.”

‘Vaccine hesitancy, rejection not personal decisions’

In their statement, the organizations have emphasized that vaccine hesitancy and rejection are not personal decisions, but preferences far from having any scientific basis and, thereby, put the public health in jeopardy:

“The most clear example of this is the cases of measles that are again on the increase both in our country and across the world.”

Concluding their remarks, the organizations have emphasized that “vaccines are the best presents that can be given to children.” (AÖ/SD)