Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar said today the smallpox epidemic in Serbia would not have not happened if parents had listened to health workers instead of celebrities who are anti-vaccination.
“We have enough vaccines for everyone. The epidemic cannot be stopped until the vaccination coverage is greater than 95 percent,”t he minister told reporters after visiting the University Children’s Clinic in Belgrade.
He pointed out that due to the epidemic of smallpox, which should not have happened, the health system had to cover huge costs and that that money could have been otherwise directed towards the treatment of sick children.
Loncar added that, in the past few months, the number of vaccinate children has increased, and that vaccination coverage has risen to 90 percent. He warned, however, that the epidemic could “spill over” from Romania and Bulgaria if there was no widespread vaccination in the towns of Zrenjanin and Vrsac. In Romania, he said, 10,000 people are suffering from smallpox, and 5,000 in Bulgaria.
According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, sufficient quantities of MMR vaccines have been provided for health workers who are now being vaccinated. “This situation cannot be solved on its own. Parents would rather listen to anti-vaccination celebrities who have no medical knowledge, and not to medical professionals who spent their entire life treating sick people,’ said the minister.
He also said that MMR vaccine against had no correlation to autism, as some people claim. He cited the example of Japan where, despite the fact that children were not vaccinated for the past seven years, the number of children with autism has gone up.
This post is also available in: Italiano