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Resume: Fake news has been circulating on the internet with information saying that vaccination for measles is not allowed during an influenza epidemic. According to this false information, the risks of vaccination related side-effects increase and an individual’s immune system itself weakens in the presence of the influenza virus.

Scientific studies demonstrate that the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) does not increase the risks of bacterial or viral infections. Therefore, vaccination for measles is absolutely safe even during an influenza epidemic.

Of particular note is that the aforementioned fake news was disseminated with the following title: “Vaccination for measles is strictly prohibited in this period… Five people have already died in Ukraine.”

In fact, the deaths in Ukraine are not related to the measles vaccination. The news item in question was about the number of deaths from influenza, which is not specified in the title, and which creates the impression that the deaths were caused by the measles vaccine.

Therefore, the story about the health hazards of vaccines is false. Please remember that vaccination is the only effective means for safeguarding against measles!

Analysis

Currently, fake news about the measles vaccination has been actively circulating on social networks. In addition, the iter.ge website published an article with the following title: “Vaccination for measles is strictly prohibited in this period… Five people have already died in Ukraine.”

The title creates the impression that the deaths are related to the measles vaccination which is a lie. If we read the article to the end, we will understand that the cases of death are not related to the measles vaccination and, in fact, the article is about the number of deaths from influenza in Ukraine.

The content of the article concerns the risks of the measles vaccination during an influenza epidemic. The article is a translation from the Ukrainian website. The article reads: “The Healthcare Committee of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada disseminated information that the vaccination for measles is strictly disallowed during an influenza epidemic… During an influenza epidemic, the risks of side-effects related to the measles vaccination increase. At the same time, an individual’s immune system becomes weakened as a result of other infections, including the influenza virus.”

Of additional note is that several statements with similar contexts have also been disseminated. However, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine promptly responded to these statements and blamed Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Healthcare Committee members for circulating false information about the measles vaccination. As stated by the Ministry of Health, the vaccination for measles is absolutely safe even during an influenza epidemic. This is confirmed by a number of scientific/medical studies.

One medical research study proved that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine does not increase the risks of bacterial or viral infections. Scientists have studied the so-called risk period (90 days after vaccination) and the results contradict the hypothesis that an individual’s immunity is weakened if vaccinated. Therefore, it can be stated with confidence that the vaccination for measles does not weaken the body’s immunity in the presence of the influenza virus. This means that vaccination for measles is safe during an influenza epidemic.

For additional information, measles is a severe infectious airborne virus which is considered as a highly contagious disease. The disease’s symptoms include fever, flat rash, cough and rhinitis. Measles might cause serious complications such as ear inflammation, pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). Complicated cases of measles can result in death.

Vaccination is the only effective means for safeguarding against measles! Vaccinations for measles are carried out with the combined MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The MMR vaccine helps to produce immunity (anti-viral antibodies) which protects a human for his entire life. Vaccines are routinely administered at the ages of one and five years and non-routinely can be administered at any age.

Currently, the vaccine is used in more than 150 countries around the world. The safety and high effectiveness of the vaccine have been proven by many years of study and experience. Only the World Health Organization pre-qualified high-quality vaccines can be purchased in Georgia.

Who should not get the MMR vaccine:

- Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of the MMR vaccine or any component thereof

- Anyone who has HIV/AIDS

- Pregnant women

- Anyone who has untreated active tuberculosis

Since 1 January 2019, routine vaccinations, including vaccination for measles, are mandatory. Vaccination for measles is administered free-of-charge to any citizen of Georgia.


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