Citizens support immunization of children against measles, mumps and rubella
20 March 2022
Only 8 percent of Montenegro’s citizens disagree with the statement that children should be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella
Podgorica, 20 March 2022
One in four parents contacted a paediatrician and vaccinated their child after noticing the campaign promoting immunization against measles, mumps and rubella led by the Institute for Public Health with support from the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the EU Delegation to Montenegro. These are the findings of Ipsos’s nationally representative survey conducted in January of this year with EU and UNICEF support.
The Institute for Public Health (IPH) launched the campaign about routine immunization in December 2021 with the aim of raising the low immunization rates against measles, mumps and rubella, which put the majority of Montenegro’s youngest children at risk of hospitalization or even death in the event of a measles epidemic breaking out.
“More and more parents are postponing the MMR vaccine on their own initiative, waiting until their child begins to speak or walk, which puts their child at risk of potentially dangerous diseases. Children up to the age of 2 are at particular risk, because they could develop serious health complications. We are once again calling on parents to respect the immunization schedule because it is the best choice they will make for their child," said Dr. Igor Galic, director of the Institute of Public Health.
Only 8 percent of Montenegro’s citizens disagree with the statement that children should be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, according to the nationally representative survey conducted by the research agency Ipsos in January 2022.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the routine immunization of children worldwide, exposing them to the risks of highly infectious and dangerous diseases that humankind had forgotten, thanks to vaccines. Measles vaccinations prevented over 23 million deaths worldwide between 2000 and 2018. Let’s protect every child by following the routine immunization,” said Juan Santander, UNICEF Montenegro Representative
Montenegro’s citizens trust paediatricians, doctors in general and other medical staff most in relation to all questions regarding children’s routine immunization. Four out of five identify the child’s paediatrician in the primary health centre as the most knowledgeable and skilled person to consult with on children’s infectious diseases, while other parents and grandparents are considered to be least knowledgeable on this issue.
The EU, UNICEF and the IPH remind that vaccines are among the greatest achievements of modern public health. From the end of the 18th century until today, they have been preventing the outbreak of numerous infectious diseases and have saved millions of lives. Smallpox, which killed 300 million people during the 20th century alone, was successfully eradicated in 1979 thanks to the introduction of a safe and effective vaccine. Polio – a dangerous disease that has killed millions and paralysed or disabled millions – is now, thanks to vaccines, a dangerous endemic disease in only two countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan – and is well on the way to being finally eradicated from the face of the Earth. Mother and new-born tetanus, which is fatal for new-borns, has, thanks to immunization, been almost completely eliminated worldwide, remaining in only 12 countries as of December 2020.
In January 2022, Ipsos’s survey on immunizations was conducted with EU and UNICEF support on a nationally representative sample of 810 citizens of Montenegro aged 18 or over. Data collection was conducted through a telephone survey, with a questionnaire lasting an average length of 11 minutes, in the period from 21 to 24 January of this year. The key findings of this survey, as well as previous surveys, on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of citizens regarding coronavirus and immunization are available on the UNICEF Montenegro website.
Through the EU-funded project, the EU and UNICEF support the government’s efforts in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening the routine immunization services.