Take-up of MMR vaccine well below EU average
Malta’s take-up of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is10 per cent short of the EU average, Parliamentary Secretary Mario Galea, who is responsible for community care, said today.
Speaking at the Zejtun Primary School in a European Immunisation Week event, Mr Galea expressed concern at the figures.
The MMR is given in two doses – at 15 months and at eight years.
In 2007, there was 86 per cent take-up of the first dose and 82 per cent take-up of second dose. Take up in the EU was 96 per cent.
The government, Mr Galea said, was calling on parents to make sure their children were given this vaccine. It was only through vaccination that certain illnesses were eradicated completely, he stressed
He said that in 2002 the World Health Organisation had launched a campaign to have all children vaccinated with the MMR.
However, the campaign failed because of a fraudster who claimed the MMR had a potential link to autism in children. To this day the Maltese seemed to be still afraid of giving their children the MMR, he said
This year, the WHO is again working on a campaign for all children to be vaccinated with MMR.
The Maltese in general, he said, seemed to have a fear of vaccination. Malta, for example, had spent a lot of money on the H1N1 vaccine and 200,000 shots remained unused.
There was also a lower take up of the seasonal flu vaccine which left a surplus of around 10,000 shots. Mr Galea said he was very frustrated at this waste.