European Medical Organisations’ Statement on Supporting Vaccination

17/12/2018 218 Views
European Medical Organisations’ Statement on Supporting Vaccination

European medical organisations reaffirm that the prevention of communicable diseases through vaccination is safe and very effective. Immunisation through vaccination is the best protection we have against serious, even deadly, diseases.

In recent years, vaccination coverage for children and adults has decreased in many European countries. Vaccine hesitancy has become one of the main challenges and reasons for low vaccine acceptance and uptake. The influence of diverse anti-vaccine groups spreading misleading and often false information has increased, especially on social media. In Poland, a draft law amending the legislation on communicable diseases has been prepared against medical advice, submitted to the Parliament as a citizens’ initiative and rejected only after a decisive protest from medical organisations, experts and public. This example shows that the risk of abolishing the obligation of preventive vaccinations and in due time exposure of many citizens to dangers of serious contagious diseases that are currently controlled by national vaccination programmes is real.

We believe that existing legislation in European countries should in no case be amended to weaken the role and scope of national vaccination programmes. Coordination and cooperation between different European countries should be strengthened to prevent communicable diseases that know no borders.

Also, doctors, other healthcare professionals and their organisations are essential to deliver facts based on scientific evidence and increase public awareness about the benefits of immunisation. Our voice based on our professional knowledge and expertise should be listened to, and the facts based on sound science should be respected.

European medical organisations call on governments and legislators to assure that vaccination programmes are supported in the best interest of European citizens.

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