The Maltese people are very confident that the vaccines against preventable diseases are effective. This emerged from a study which was carried out in 140 countries by the Welcome Trust in the UK which, among other things, showed that in certain regions of the world there is a negative perception of vaccines and this is worrying the medical profession because of the fear that it may spread diseases which might have been avoided.
In a reaction to the study which took place among 140,000 people, the Superintendent for Public Health, Prof Charmaine Gauci, expressed her satisfaction that 95% of Maltese had vaccinated their children against certain diseases. Prof Gauci said that thanks to this, such diseases as measles have been drastically reduced among Maltese children.
False beliefs that vaccinations may have adverse side effects on children’s health have continued to be debunked by international studies which found that in many countries, vaccinations are trusted by the majority of people who believe they are effective.
In Malta, the study found that 79% believe vaccinations are safe, 84% believe that they are effective against diseases, while 94% believe that it is important for children to be vaccinated. The trust of the Maltese in vaccinations is in fact stronger than countries in Southern Europe.
Prof Gauci said that in Malta, the high rate of infant vaccinations is helping to fight against diseases such as measles, while last year in Europe there were 35,000 reported cases of measles.
“In Malta we have a situation where you have a good uptake of the MMR in children and as a result we are not seeing so many cases of measles, although we are getting cases of adults who have not taken this vaccine.”
Prof Gauci said that vaccination does not cause illness but provides protection against diseases. She appealed to parents to inform themselves through reliable sources for more information about vaccinations.
“They should look at Government websites, because they base their information on real evidence and they should speak to professionals because that is the best way to protect your children.”
The Maltese public can look at their vaccination records by using their eID online on https://myhealth-ng.gov.mt/