In terms of the number of people vaccinated against measles, Europeans are already below the safety limit.
WHO requires the vaccination of at least 95 per cent of the young children population for community resistance to be preserved, offering protection also to people without resistance to a given disease. These are primarily people who have not been vaccinated because of medical contraindications. Only in five countries of the European Union is over 95 per cent of the population vaccinated with two doses. Thus, in Poland for example, where vaccination against measles is mandatory, there were 34,000 refusals to vaccinate in the first half of this year, that is more than in the whole of the previous year. There have been almost 140,000 instances where Polish parents refused to vaccinate their child over the past eight years.
The average level of immunisation for the EU as a whole is less than 94 per cent, with Romania (87 per cent), Croatia (89 per cent) and Malta (91 per cent) at the bottom of the list.
In terms of the incidence of measles per million inhabitants, the first place is taken by Greece (almost 300 patients per million inhabitants), this year more than 10,000 people have contracted measles throughout the European Union: 33 died, most of them in Romania.
Where vaccinations are compulsory in Europe
France has the youngest age for vaccination against measles – babies are vaccinated at six months old. In a dozen or so European countries the measles vaccine is not obligatory. In Germany, for example, parents can decide whether to vaccinate a child or not. Even so, 97 per cent opt for immunisation. Measles is an infectious disease that spreads very easily. Statistically, one patient can infect as many as a dozen people. It is the most dangerous for children under 5 years of age and for the elderly, and for all those who have not been given vaccinations because of other chronic diseases.
Vaccinations against whooping cough are compulsory in 10 EU countries. The first dose of the vaccination is given to children before they are 3 months old, the earliest in the Netherlands: as early as 1 month old.
What do Europeans think about vaccinations?
Full article: Infectious diseases are coming back: Half a century of vaccinations gone wasted (VOX Europ)