The Health Board is launching a new campaign this week with which it hopes first and foremost to draw parents' attention to the need to vaccinate.
"The goal of the campaign is to remind people of the fact that vaccination is the best means of protecting themselves as well as their children from infectious diseases," said Health Board Director General Merike Jürilo, according to whom immunization coverage in Estonia has fallen at an average rate of 0.3 percent per year in recent years.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, in order to achieve herd immunity, immunization coverage of at least 95 percent must be maintained. Estonia, however, has already fallen below that threshold with certain vaccines.
"The downward trend in immunization coverage is being influenced by factors including fast-paced lifestyles as well as people falling ill the day they were supposed to go get vaccinated," Jürilo said. "With our campaign, we're reminding people that getting your child vaccinated must be a priority for parents, and that should circumstances not allow, it would be a good idea to work together with your family doctor or nurse to schedule a new, more suitable time to get your shots."
As vaccine-related disinformation is available online, the Health Board will also be publishing some myth-busting videos featuring journalist Jüri Muttika on its Facebook page and homepage vaktsineeri.ee.
Children vaccinated free
Children and young people in Estonia are vaccinated for free according to a national immunization schedule. Included in the schedule are vaccines which help prevent infectious diseases with serious consequences and thus avoid related complications and deaths.
According to the schedule, children and young people in Estonia are vaccinated against tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis B, rotavirus, diptheria, tetanus, whooping cough, rubella, measles, polio, HPV, and hemophilia B. Adults are also to receive diphtheria-tetanus boosters every ten years.
Editor: Aili Vahtla