Greece’s Health Minister, Vassilis Kikilias has stated that he plans to take action to increase vaccination rates, following data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that shows a ‘dramatic’ rise in measles across Europe including Greece.
“Vaccination is a matter of life and concerns us all. It means protecting the individual and therefore protecting the whole community. But it is especially for those who belong to the vulnerable groups of the population: children, the elderly, people with chronic diseases, pregnant women, health professionals,” he stated.
The Minister further added that he will “work hard with the scientific community to expand the vaccine coverage of the population and, in particular, to promote vaccine awareness. We are safeguarding our health, we are safeguarding our lives.”
Measles is one of the most contagious viruses on the planet and can spread in the air even after an infected person has left the room.
According to data from WHO, there were 89,994 cases of measles in 48 European countries in the first six months of 2019, more than double the number in the same period in 2018. The deadly virus has also killed at least 37 people in Europe during the first half of this year.