Press conference- European Immunisation Week , 24- 30 April, 2019

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The Clinic for Children’s Diseases, University Clinical Center Tuzla hosted a press conference on the occasion of European Immunisation Week 2019. Prof. Dr. Fahrija Skokić, medical director and president of the Pediatric Society in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ass. Prof. Edin Husarić, MD, head of the Clinic for Children’s Diseases, Ass. Prof. Almira Ćosićkić MD, chief of the Department for Allergy and Immunology, and Dr. Blaško Topalović, chief of the Department for Epidemiology, Institute for Public Health met with a media during the press conference today. They said that their goal is to raise awareness and provide accurate and reliable information on the benefits of immunisation in order to achieve community immunity as a form of indirect protection from infectious diseases.

In speaking to the press Prof. Skokić said that it is highly encouraging to us that the balance between vaccinated and unvaccinated children was established in the Tuzla Canton, and that there has not been an outbreak of measles recorded in 2019, as it was the case in the year 2014 and 2015. She also recalled that vaccination is mandatory by law,, and warned that some diseases in pediatrics had been eradicated, but they have made a comeback mostly because of the strong influence of the anti- vaccination movement on parents’ decision on vaccination.

Although the trend on childhood vaccination continue to improve in the Tuzla canton, there is still a worrying number of those who have not received the appropriate dose of immunisation. Dr Blaško Topalović, epidemiologist said that the percentage of children who were unvvacinated in the Tuzla Canton increased to 21 percent. As he said, the coverage of the first dose of the MMR vaccine is 74.2 percent at the end of the year 2018, while the second dose is one percentage higher. Our doctors have warned that the low rate of vaccination coverage has potential to cause a public health crisis, including a deadly diseases outbreak. They also used an opportunity to say that vaccination is considered as one of the greatest medical achievements of modern civilization and the most effective measure in protecting health.