Number of ‘anti-vaccination families’ in Turkey increases to 23,000 in 2017: Top doctor
The number of families in Turkey who say they are against vaccination rose to 23,000 in 2017, up from just 183 in 2011, according to the head of the Turkish Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
“With scientific thought taking a backseat, the number of people believing in anti-vaccination ideas has steadily increased. According to studies, the number of anti-vaccination families was 183 in 2011, 387 in 2012, 913 in 2013, 1,370 in 2014, 1,091 in 2015, 11,470 in 2016, and 23,000 in 2017,” Prof. Dr. Alpay Azap was quoted as saying by daily Birgün on March 23.
“Infectious diseases have led to mass deaths. Vaccinations are the most effective method in the prevention of many infectious diseases. Vaccinations do not only protect the person that they are used on, they also protect people who are not vaccinated or cannot be vaccinated. People who have not developed immunity do not contaminate infections through vaccinations, so the spread of infection in society is prevented,” Azap said.
He added that based on the general view that the effectiveness of vaccination is 95 percent, 99 percent of society needs to be vaccinated in order for the 94 percent “immunity threshold” to be sustained.
Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Tur Yıldız Biçer told Birgün that the Health Ministry was not “doing enough” to prevent people from adopting anti-vaccination views.
“Families see it as a personal right not to have their child vaccinated. But this is an issue that concerns the whole society. The Health Ministry, which should be preventing this situation from being legitimized and is responsible for society’s health, is not doing its part,” Biçer said.