SSM urges parents to disregard rumours about ‘ineffective & unsafe’ MMR jabs

2024-04-25 04:01     BY Ginnie Liang    Comment:1

The Health Bureau (SSM) urged parents in a statement yesterday not to believe a common misconception of associating the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine with autism, as well as false rumours circulating from time to time that the vaccine is ineffective and unsafe, stressing that it is important for parents to vaccinate their children against life-threatening and health-threatening diseases.

The statement noted that many studies conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and around the world have confirmed that there is no link between the MMR vaccination and autism. In fact, refusal to vaccinate not only has serious consequences for the individual, but can also lead to the spread of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in the community, the statement said.

The statement was issued by the bureau yesterday to mark the World Immunisation Week, which began yesterday and ends on Tuesday, with the aim of highlighting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.

This year’s World Immunisation Week, with the theme of Humanly Possible: Immunisation for All, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), calling on countries to ramp up investments in immunisation programmes to protect the next generations, according to the WHO website.

The vaccines procured by the bureau are in line with international standards and there is a stringent mechanism to monitor adverse reactions after vaccination, the statement said, adding that common side effects of vaccines are mild, mostly low-grade fever, fatigue and redness as well as swelling at the area where the needle went in.

The statement noted that the chance of severe allergic reaction is extremely low, while the risk of not receiving the vaccine is greater than the risk of receiving it, stressing that vaccination can effectively reduce the risk of serious illness and even death and protect the health of the population, especially the elderly, children, pregnant women and patients with chronic diseases.

The free vaccination programme in Macau covers a wide range of people and is more comprehensive than those in neighbouring regions, the statement said, including vaccines against 13 diseases - apart from the regular vaccines against tuberculosis (TB) - hepatitis B, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, measles, German measles (rubella), and mumps.

Meanwhile, the statement added, vaccines against chickenpox, cervical cancer, Haemophilus influenzae (which causes meningitis in young children) and Streptococcus pneumoniae have been added to the local vaccination programme, as well as the second dose of chickenpox vaccine in children, and the whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women and primary 6 students, to provide greater protection for the health of the population.  

This undated handout photo provided by the Health Bureau (SSM) yesterday shows its staff vaccinating students at a local school.

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