The European Immunization Week has begun in Kyrgyzstan under the slogan «Vaccines Work!» Head of the Public Health Department of the Ministry of Health, Ainura Akmatova, told at a press conference.
According to her, thanks to planned immunization, vaccine-preventable infections, such as diphtheria, tuberculous meningitis in newborns, are not registered in Kyrgyzstan. Since 1993, the country has been free from polio.
However, due to internal and external migration of the population in remote regions and hard-to-reach areas (on distant pastures and wintering places), children and adults are not vaccinated in a timely manner. At the same time, the level of refusal of vaccinations is high in the republic.
At least 6,500 vaccination refusals were registered in 2018. Most of them (65 percent) are for religious reasons.
Other 20 percent of people refuse vaccination because of concerns about the quality of the vaccine. «This may cause an outbreak of vaccine-preventable infections,» said Ainura Akmatova.
The European Immunization Week aims to raise awareness of citizens. At least 25 visiting and 22 mobile teams of medical workers have been formed, who will organize vaccination points on the territory of new housing estates, in remote regions and on distant pastures and will vaccinate citizens for free.