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Revista chilena de infectología

Print version ISSN 0716-1018

Abstract

WILHELM, Jan et al. Statement from the Immunization Committee of the Chilean Infectious Diseases Society in reference to vaccine refusal and mandatory policy on vaccination. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.6, pp.583-586. ISSN 0716-1018.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-10182017000600583.

Although vaccines have had a tremendous impact in public health they are questioned by certain groups that consider them unnecessary or unsafe and argue in favor of the right to decide to be vaccinated or not. However vaccines must have special considerations because unlike other medical decisions, not vaccinating has consequences not only for the individual but also for other members of the community. Immunizing a high proportion of the population limits the circulation of an infectious agent attaining what is called herd immunity that protects the susceptible members of the group. For this reason many countries consider vaccination mandatory as a responsibility of every citizen. This committee agrees with this view but thinks other strategies should be implemented as well, such as special educational efforts for the public and parents addressing benefits and real risks of vaccinating. Also health care professionals should be trained in vaccines. The notification system for adverse events currently available should be improved and be more accessible. Persons truly affected by adverse events due to vaccination should receive on time responses and be offered psychological and financial support. Finally all stakeholders should make coordinated efforts to work together to deliver messages that answer concerns on vaccines and bring confidence back to the public.

Keywords : Vaccines; immunization; mandatory; herd immunity.

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