The National STOP GRIPA 2016 forum
Vaccination: responsible act of prevention
- "We have reached a time when the voice of non-specialists and followers of conspiracy theories is heard and promoted more than that of doctors. We consider that a joint effort of the authorities, specialists and civil society is needed so that the public health is not jeopardized and to avoid the risk of the outbreak of new epidemics, "said Dr. Anca Draganescu, President of the Pro Immunization Association.
- “I think the best solution is the regulated one, because it can bring peace and confidence to the population regarding the national vaccination program. I also think we need to discuss honestly with arguments about vaccination. Unfortunately, the sites that promote antivaccination do not accept contrary opinions, scientifically documented, ”said Prof. Univ. Dr. Alexandru Rafila, President of the Romanian Microbiology Society, Member of the Standing Committee of the Regional Office of the World Health Organization in Europe.
- "There is a segment of undocumented, uncertain parents, a little fearful, to which we can still arrive with scientific arguments, but there is a large mass of parents who have radicalized and which no argument can reach. They need a law, "the president said The Association "Mothers for Mothers", Ana Maita.
- “When it comes to general vaccination there are many things to do in the area of trust and comfort. It all comes down to trust and the right information, in the context where many countries in Europe are experiencing a decrease in vaccine coverage, ”he said. Dr. Pasi Penttinen, Coordinator of the Influenza and Respiratory Virus Surveillance Program, European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
The Pro Immunization Association in partnership with the Commission for Health and Family of the Chamber of Deputies and the Romanian Society of Microbiology organized the fifth edition of the STOP GRIPa National Forum, an event dedicated to vaccination prevention as a fundamental element of the health sector reform in Romania. Health professionals and officials in Romania and abroad, together with representatives of civil society, have presented scientifically substantiated arguments during the debate on the topic. "Vaccination: responsible act of prevention".
“Prevention means taking responsibility, responsibility and, equally, informed decisions. in the context of the decrease of the vaccine coverage that already makes victims, I am referring to the measles epidemic, we consider that Romania needs a legal framework to regulate the administrative procedures related to vaccination, as well as one that establishes the obligation of the authorities to ensure constant access to specialized information, "he said Dr. Anca Draganescu, President of the Pro Immunization Association.
Vaccine coverage in Romania registers percentages below 75% for several types of vaccine, while the World Health Organization recommends a vaccine coverage of over 95%.
At this edition of the Stop Influenza Forum those present were invited to do a preventive exercise and to get the flu shot. By the end of the event, several people had been vaccinated against the flu, among them the State Councilor from the Department of Public Health of the Presidential Administration, Conf. Univ. Dr. Diana Loreta Paun, president of the Association "Mame pentru Mame", Ana Maita, TVR news presenter, Mihai Constantin, doctors and representatives of the press.
"Worldwide, vaccination is the most effective method of combating and eradicating many communicable diseases. regarding the situation of the vaccination campaigns in Romania, in the public opinion are often disseminated erroneous information, which do not come from well-informed specialists and which have no scientific basis, which negatively influences the vaccination coverage and the efforts of the public health authorities to ensure the health. population. The main argument in changing the mentality of the population regarding vaccinations should not be the constraint, but the information, ”mentioned Conf. Univ. Dr. Diana Loreta Paun, State Counselor, Department of Public Health, Presidential Administration
Do we need a vaccination law or not?
In 2015, at the initiative of the Ministry of Health, an interdisciplinary team elaborated a legislative project regulating the immunization process in Romania, which is still awaited for public debate.
Through this draft law the Romanian state would assume a series of responsibilities regarding the vaccination act and to provide the population with correct information regarding the vaccination process and vaccines. From the information made public so far, the draft law also provides for the allocation of social, financial and human support in case of possible adverse reactions after vaccination. Also, the project would also regulate the administrative procedures for procurement of vaccines, currently they do not allow the creation of a vaccine stock.
"We, those working in the public health area, should come up with a legislative proposal to regulate issues pertaining to the organizational area of the national vaccination program in Romania. I believe that the best solution is the regulated one, because it can bring peace and confidence to the population regarding the national vaccination program ”, declared Prof. Univ. Dr. Alexandru Rafila, President of the Romanian Society of Microbiology, Member of the Standing Committee of the Regional Office of WHO Europe.
Family doctors, as the main vaccinators, believe that the acceptance of vaccination programs in children can only be achieved through a constant and transparent communication effort and by taking responsibility with the parents.
“Patients feel the need for a realistic dialogue with the family doctor. Besides the administrative problems (supply with vaccines), the fact that the information is taken from a website or poster or from a television program, increases the distrust of vaccination in Romania. I think it's time to open the way for dialogue. within the SNMF there is a group of doctors who deal with the problem of vaccination and who have entered exactly those environments where the "fights" are taking place. I would say that sometimes it becomes a real war, because our role is to help those who do not trust or are undecided to choose what is best for their child, but especially to do it alone, out of conviction, " stated Dr. Sandra Alexiu, Vice President, National Society of Family Medicine (SNMF)
Ana Maita, as mother and president of the Association "Mothers for Moms", once again sounded an alarm signal regarding public health, inviting correct information and assumption.
"I do not know what we need at the level of authorities to declare a state of emergency, because, I repeat, we are in the middle of a catastrophe. The earth does not shake, but our children die and more and more children will die, whether their parents are pro-vaccination or counter-vaccination. As long as we allow democracy in terms of scientific consensus and we allow people to make life and death decisions for their children and others, denying scientific evidence, we can only go to dangerous epidemics, "said Ana Maita, The "Mothers for Moms" Association.
Vaccination - responsible prevention act
The statistics of the last years have shown a considerable decrease of the vaccine coverage both among the adults, but especially among the children. The decrease in the number of children vaccinated in Romania represents an alarm signal for both specialists and authorities. The common opinion formulated by specialists indicates the need for the correct and objective information of the parents, who must be aware of and take the risks to which their children are exposed.
"In the conditions of decreased vaccine coverage we can speak of the emergence of serious diseases, preventable by vaccination (polio, diphtheria, tetanus, measles) with potentially severe evolution or with the cost of survival in the conditions of serious sequelae that involve enormous effort and costs in recovery therapy and integration into society. Studies show the effectiveness of vaccines, the evidence stands for serious diseases that have been eradicated by vaccination. This evidence is much more numerous and rigorous, answering all the questions of those who still have a question mark about vaccination, "said Dr. Anca Draganescu, President of the Pro Immunization Association.
The Romanian Orthodox Church, through partnerships with the Ministry of Health, encourages any medical act meant to bring healing to patients.
"The voice of the Orthodox Church aims to increase the credibility and transparency of the promotion and implementation of immunization programs. if the term of obligatory regarding the vaccination of the population will be proposed for public debate, the Church, a flexible institution that pronounces itself in the moral area of public space, reserves the right to discuss this topic for a communication aimed at stated what was proposed, "said Priest Horia Prioteasa, Romanian Orthodox Church (Church of Fundeni Hospital, Bucharest)
The specialists present were also joined by representatives of civil society, Dr. Cornelia Scarlatescu Paraschiv, Health Program Manager, World Vision Romania Foundation and Teo Trandafir, television producer and immunization immunization supporter.
For more references go to www.proimunizare.ro.