MINSK, 23 April (BelTA) - According to experts, immunization prevents between 2-3 million deaths in the world annually, Vyacheslav Grankov, Communicable Diseases Programme Coordinator of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Belarus, told reporters, BelTA has learned.
“Living in a relatively epidemiologically safe country, we have forgotten how dangerous the infectious diseases are or how grave the consequences may be. Measles kills around 400 people in the world daily. From 300,000 up to 650 000 people die of respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu each year,” Vyacheslav Grankov said.
Due to migration, no country is immune to an imported infection which is vaccine preventive. More than 82,000 people fell ill with measles and 72 died in the WHO European region in 2018. If these people were vaccinated, there would have been no such consequences. Immunization is the most effective investment in healthcare,” he said.
In Belarus the share of people vaccinated against the absolute majority of infections has been consistently very high. Vaccination against these diseases is is prescribed in the national immunization plan. This enables to develop a collective immune resistance and to prevent the spread of very serious infections, Vyacheslav Grankov said. According to him, the plan is constantly updated. Depending on the situation, opportunities, scientific data, and WHO recommendations the Expert Council makes decisions on amendments and changes to the plan.
In this connection, the WHO representative expressed the hope that the national immunization plan will provide for mandatory vaccination against HPV virus which can prevent 90% of cervical cancer cases.
The European Immunization Week is running in Belarus on 24-30 April. The theme this year is Protected Together: Vaccines Work!, and the campaign will celebrate Vaccine Heroes from around the world – from parents and community members to health workers and innovators – who help ensure we are all protected through the power of vaccines. The main aim of the week is to raise the awareness of the importance of immunization for health and well-being throughout life.More about Society