Community Pharmacy

Need to Boost Vaccination Rates

On World Immunisation Week, pharmaceutical innovators have said it’s vital to take steps to reduce vaccine hesitancy and to dispel ‘damaging’ myths about vaccination.

The organisation representing pharmaceutical innovators has called on the Government to include industry on a new alliance aimed at improving vaccination rates. The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), said it was vital to take steps to reduce vaccine hesitancy and to dispel “damaging” myths about vaccination.

IPHA welcomed the initiative by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, to form an alliance to promote the take-up of vaccinations. But industry should be represented on the group, according to IPHA, along with medical professionals, educators, parents, patient advocates and policymakers.

IPHA has launched a social media campaign, #VaccinesWork, aimed at raising public awareness about the importance of vaccination. The WHO estimates that vaccines save up to three million lives each year. With the exception of clean, safe drinking water, vaccination is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions ever. However, its success is increasingly under threat as vaccination rates continue to fall below the required 95% uptake rate to ensure ‘herd protection’. A direct result of this is an increase in the number of global outbreaks of serious diseases such as measles. The best way to protect populations against these diseases is to vaccinate directly.

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