Support independent journalism in Central & Eastern Europe.
Donate to TOL!

× Learn more
No, thanks Photo: Abbas Atilay
 
back  |  printBookmark and Share

Romania Urges Vaccinations to Stop Measles Outbreak

Could the anti-vaccination movement be responsible for the deaths of 17 children?

13 March 2017

Dear readers, your opinion matters. So we would kindly ask you to take a moment and flll out our TOL Reader Survey, which will help us tailor our content to your interests.


 

More than 3,400 people have been infected with measles in the past year, compared to just seven the year before, Romanian Health Minister Florian Bodog said last week, according to Ireland’s public broadcaster RTE, citing Hotnews.ro.

 

None of the 17 children who died had been vaccinated, Bodog said. Only about 80 percent of Romanians receive the first of the two doses of vaccination recommended by the World Health Organization, and just 50 percent receive the second, he said.

 

RTE attributes the outbreak to “poverty, the lack of access to health services, and the percentage of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children” – although WHO considers several countries with advanced health systems like Belgium, France, Italy, and Germany, along with Poland and Romania, as high-risk sources of transmission.

 

Olivia Steer is a Romanian celebrity known for her controversial anti-vaccine stance. Image via AntenaStars/Youtube.

 

Romanian celebrities and even scientists are the mouthpieces of the anti-vaccination movement there, Italy’s La Stampa reports, joined by some religious groups, although the Orthodox Church has “somewhat distanced itself from these campaigns and encouraged vaccinations with the caveat that they ‘respect the freedom of the patient.’ ”

 

There is concern the outbreak could spread to neighboring countries, although the head of Hungary’s National Center for Epidemiology said there was no threat of a national epidemic there, The Associated Press reports. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control warned last week that "the likelihood of exportation of measles cases [from Romania] is high."

 

 

 

  • Another issue for Romania is shortages of vaccines against measles as well as hepatitis B and pneumococcus, La Stampa writes.

 

  • Eurostat statistics show that Romania’s infant mortality rate is among the highest in Europe, exceeded only by Macedonia and Turkey.

 

  • Seven of the 10 countries with the lowest level of confidence in vaccinations were in Europe, according to a study last year by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The French were the biggest vaccine skeptics among the 67 countries surveyed, Euro Scientist writes.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

back  |  printBookmark and Share

TOL PROMOTION

Announcement


Reader Survey 2017 - Tell us what you think and win a free subscription!

 

Please help us improve the Transitions Online website by completing our annual survey.

 

More information here. Thanks!

MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS

Moldovan diaries

The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.

This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes. 

It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.

RELATED ARTICLES

© Transitions Online 2017. All rights reserved. ISSN 1214-1615
Published by Transitions o.s., Baranova 33, 130 00 Prague 3, Czech Republic.