Bucharest below 70pct MMR vaccination rate, national average 83pct

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination rate in Romania was 83 percent in 2015, with Bucharest and Arad County below 70pct, Romanian Microbiology Society President Dr. Alexandru Rafila told a specialized conference on Saturday.

This left some 35,000 children not immunized by MMR vaccine, dr. Rafila said at the 4th National Conference on Vaccinology Actualities, RoVaccin 2016.

He pointed out that migration might worsen the situation, with people coming from countries with poor vaccination records. Since last year, deadly cases of diphtheria were reported in Europe after many years, Ukraine reported poliomyelitis cases, and Romania had 79 cases of rubella in two counties, in a situation still in progress after several weeks.

MMR vaccines stocks are sufficient, dr. Rafila stressed. He reminded that a six-month interruption of vaccination in 2005 resulted in more than 12,000 cases of rubella, including several child deaths.

Health Ministry State Secretary Victor Strambu confirmed the availability of vaccine in the region where the rubella outbreak occurred. “Alert measures have been taken. The area is under control,” he asserted, according to Agerpres.

Some family doctors, however, lack supplies of hexavalent vaccine (editor’s note – against diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type B, poliovirus and hepatitis B), said Dr. Gindrovel Dumitra, coordinator of the vaccinology group of the Romanian National Society of Family Medicine; he qualified the situation as unacceptable.

According to Dr. Adriana Pistol of the National Centre for Monitoring and Control of Communicable Diseases, the World Health Organization recommends an optimal vaccination rate of 95pct. Without proper vaccination, a local outbreak can spread countrywide very fast for diseases as contagious as rubella, she warned.

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