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October 17, 2021

Health Ministry wants penalties for parents who refuse child immunization

The Ministry of Health is working on an immunization law inspired from the relevant legislation of several European countries, as an anti-vaccination campaign is currently under way in Romania, Minister Nicolae Banicioiu said. As a matter of fact, Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu said on TV on Tuesday that the ministry was working on an immunization law.

‘We have a draft for the immunization law, we are working on this document which will regulate the situation with vaccination in Romania. We made this decision as there is a very aggressive anti-immunization campaign under way, the number of people who want the vaccines has dramatically dropped and the parents’ opposition has grown. In this context, there is a risk of a spread of very serious, even fatal, disease, as the World Health Organization has warned. We should not forget that the poliomyelitis which was eradicated through immunization, is coming back to life because people refuse to get the vaccine’, Nicolae Banicioiu said on Wednesday.

The minister of health noted that the specialists would inspire themselves from the relevant legislation currently in force in countries such as France, Germany and Poland. ‘We want to regulate the immunization situation, we inspire from the applicable legislation in France, Germany and Poland because we are getting close to a 80% immunization threshold below which we cannot go according to the World Health Organization recommendations’, the health minister further said.

The Chairman of the Romanian Microbiology Society, Prof. Dr. Alexandru Rafila, said on 21 March that there would be a risk of epidemics following the decreasing immunization coverage.

The immunization coverage in Romania is below the World Health Organization recommended level of 95% for disease such as diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella, mumps or hepatitis B. The immunization rate dropped by 20% in 2014 compared to 2013 only in Bucharest, according to National Public Health Institute (INSP) data. According to INSP, the shrinking of the vaccinated population has two main causes: on the one hand the parents’ refusal to have their children immunized and, on the other hand, the 2014 issues with the supply of required vaccines by the Health Ministry.


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