Immunization coverage could be improved by training teachers, say doctors

The Health Board is recommending everyone get vaccinated against the flu.
The Health Board is recommending everyone get vaccinated against the flu. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

According to doctors and healthcare workers, in order to improve immunization coverage and awareness of the necessity of vaccines, the first step should be training teachers and healthcare professionals.

It is via teachers and healthcare professionals that science-based information regarding the necessity of immunization will reach parents and children, ETV news program Aktuaalne kaamera reported.

Family doctor Karmen Joller noted that healthcare professionals' goal is children's health and well-being. She added, however, that doctors are not yet in favor of harsher measures such as banning unvaccinated children from kindergarten.

In recent years, Estonia has seen an increasing number of cases of diseases that had previously been nearly forgotten.

"Measles had been entirely eradicated in Estonia, and as our vaccination coverage rate has fallen significantly, then a few cases have cropped up — 26 cases this year," Joller said. "Some have been brought in from the outside, but some have also been infected in Estonia."

Nonetheless, she does not support the approach of banning unvaccinated children from kindergarten.

"I wouldn't go that radical, as children also have the right to an education in addition to their right to their health," Joller said. "I believe that the people of Estonia are smart enough decide what the right and healthy choice is for their children based on the right available information."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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