Let us get our children vaccinated

In late 2017, a group of physicians and scientists called Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare expressed their dismay and alarm at how the dengue vaccine controversy was degenerating into a fiasco.
They predicted that the consequent erosion of public confidence in the country’s vaccination programs would result in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses such as measles.
They noted, “The unnecessary fear and panic, largely brought about by the imprudent language and unsubstantiated conclusions of persons whose qualifications to render any expert opinion on the matter are questionable at best, have caused many parents to resist having their children avail of life-saving vaccines that our government gives…
“If this trend continues, then we may find ourselves faced with outbreaks of debilitating and life-threatening diseases that we have already been able to control through our vaccination programs.
“The only way to continue to prevent deadly epidemics of these infectious diseases is to sustain a high rate of immunization/vaccination in our population.
“This will not be possible if parents refuse to consent to vaccination for their children because of fear.”
A year later, the Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare were saddened to note that their prediction had come true.
According to a study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, belief in the importance of vaccines has plummeted to a low of 32 percent from 93 percent.
In the midst of a country-wide measles outbreak, we are witnessing alarming increases in the incidence of other vaccine-preventable illnesses such as German measles, whooping cough and diphtheria.
Just from January to the middle of February of this year, more than 4,500 children are reported to have contracted measles, with more than 70 deaths resulting from the disease.
Children are suffering and dying needlessly because of the widespread fear mongering and misinformation, coupled with late, little and ineffectual response from those tasked to promote and defend public health.
While it is necessary to bring to account those responsible for the loss of confidence in the country’s vaccination program and the consequent disabilities and deaths it engendered, it is more important for all of us to come together to support efforts to get our children vaccinated as quickly and completely as we can.
The only way to prevent deadly epidemics of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases is to achieve and sustain a high rate of immunization/vaccination.
Let us keep calm, make sure our children are well nourished, remain active, sleep regular hours, practice good hygiene and get all the vaccinations required to prevent the many illness that are vaccine-preventable.
In addition, we should reach out to other parents and encourage them to do the same. The national immunization program provides free immunization for many vital vaccine- preventable diseases including measles, mumps, German measles, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and hepatitis B.
Affordability is thus not an issue. Just go to the nearest public health center to be served.
Let us call a halt to the continuous spread of unproven claims of deaths caused by the dengue vaccine.
Listen to the true experts and not to those who are putting politics over science in this matter.
Those of us who have the time and inclination should collaborate with our public and community health workers to rally public support for vaccine mission activities.
Let us get our children vaccinated.